Brett Myers, is he an ace in the hole or is he a disaster waiting to happen for fantasy owners? Is he the pitcher who was banished to the minor leagues in 2008 to regain his form, or is he the solid pitcher he proved to be in 2005 & 2006?
Let’s first take a look at his 2008 line:
163 Strikeouts (7.72 K/9)
65 Walks (3.08 BB/9)
Could his 1-year stint as the team’s closer affected his performance? It is possible, as there could have been additional strain on his arm after being asked to go from 68.2 innings in 2007 back up to around 200 last season. It’s a theory for sure, but one that I don’t think really holds much water.
He actually pitched tremendous after returning from the minor leagues, posting a 1.65 ERA in August alone. If the increased innings load was going to be the problem, you’d expect it to have its affect as the season progressed (which I guess it did, to an extent, given his 5.23 ERA in September). What’s the excuse for his 5.84 ERA in the first half? What’s the excuse for posting monthly ERA’s of:
- April – 5.06
- May – 5.94
- June – 6.67
It was an ugly performance, and one that he had been prone to even when he was posting solid seasons as a starter. In June of ’05 he posted an ERA of 6.18. In August of ’05 his ERA was 4.58. In September of ’05 it was 4.91. What about his 7.13 ERA in June of ’06 and 6.62 ERA in August of ’06?
He always had the potential to blow-up, so his struggles last season really should not have been a very big surprise. Maybe it was surprising that it happened so early in the season. Maybe it was surprising that it lasted for 3 consecutive months. He had always shown the ability to turn things back around in the past, which just didn’t happen in the first half.
The strikeouts were down nearly a strikeout per 9 innings from his usable seasons, when he had K/9′s of 8.69 and 8.59. It would not be surprising to see him return to a number close to that, but it’s far from a given.
He holds a career K/9 of 7.57, so it is tough to guarantee it. Of course, having done it for two consecutive seasons makes it look like it was not an aberration, more like the new rule of thumb. Still, I’d guess for something in the middle.
His home/road split is extremely interesting from 2008:
- Home: 7-5, 3.01 ERA
- Road: 3-8, 6.21 ERA
Can he continue to be that good at home, in that ballpark? It’s certainly tough to imagine. In 2006 he posted a home ERA of 3.73, a much more reasonable number to figure on. He is a good ground ball pitcher, posting a GB% of 47.1% last season, and that certainly helps in Citizen’s Bank Ballpark, but he still is susceptible to giving up HR. Last season, he gave up 1.37 HR/9. Over his career, it’s at 1.29. That certainly helps to contribute to higher ERA’s.
Put it all together and what do you get:
195.0 IP, 14 W, 4.20 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 174 K (8.04 K/9), 69 BB (3.18 BB/9)
Yes, that’s an improvement over 2008, but he is not a pitcher that I’ll be eyeing for my team. Even when he was posting good seasons, he proved to be way to inconsistent to bet on. When he shows signs of going bad, he seems to go very bad, and those types of swings could be crippling to a fantasy roster. Couple that with his inability to fully right the ship last season, and the risk is just too great.
Yes, the strikeouts are nice and he has the potential to win more games then this with the Phillies offense behind him but it just doesn’t outweigh that risk. It can’t.
What do you think? Am I being too harsh? Do you think he can return to the pitcher he was in ’05 and ’06? Do you think he could be a bust?
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