Houston manager Brad Mills announced today that the team is moving right-handed pitcher Brett Myers
to the bullpen as the team's closer in 2012.
Myers, 31, has spent the past two seasons in Houston's starting rotation and has started 33 games in each of the past two seasons. Overall, the righthander has posted a 21-22 record with a 3.79 ERA and 7.0 strikeouts per 9 innings (K/9) since joining the Astros in 2010.
He's pitched nine innings as a reliever since the 2007 season. His last full-time closing/reliever gig was as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2007. In 48 appearances in '07, Myers converted 21 of his 24 save opportunities. He also posted a 5-5 record with a 2.87 ERA and 10.8 K/9 as a reliever. For his career, Myers has a 5-6 record, a 3.41 ERA, 21 saves, and 10.2 K/9 as a bullpen arm.
Now that Myers has been named the closer, the Astros will use Brandon Lyon
in a setup role during the 7th and 8th innings. Lyon, 32, signed a three-year, $15 million contract prior to the 2010 season to be the team's closer, but due to injuries and other issues, he's posted a 4.34 ERA with 24 saves the past two seasons.
With Myers headed to the bullpen, the starting rotation could feature the following pitchers:
Depending on the success of the players listed above, pitchers like Hernandez and Duke could be moved at the trade deadline in July. In addition to Hernandez and Duke possibly moving during the month of July, Myers could be moved as well.
From a fantasy standpoint, Myers certainly has more value pitching in the closer's role versus the starting rotation for the Astros. However, with Houston likely having a hard time winning baseball games, the save opportunities could be few and far between for Myers. He doesn't have great strikeout numbers as a reliever, so owners will only see value in the saves category. Ranking him as of right now, I would rank Myers between the 25th and 30th overall spot
at the reliever position.