This is unexpected: the Houston Astros have moved Brett Myers out of the rotation and have made him their new closer. Announced it this morning.
This is not an unprecedented role for Myers. He was the Phillies closer for most of the 2007 season, moving back to the rotation after they picked up Brad Lidge. As a closer he went 5-5 with 21 saves and a 2.87 ERA. That season he struck out 10.9 batters per nine innings, so it seems that he was cool with pressing down on the accelerator in a new role. Of course, overall his K-rate is way down now from where it was when he was a starter before the last conversion, so it would be tough to expect that kind of thing again. What a drag it is gettin’ old, you know.
The stated rationale here is that with Brandon Lyon trying to come back from shoulder surgery (good luck with that) and no other experienced hands on deck, Myers’ experience makes him the best option. A secondary rationale, likely considered but not stated, is that if Myers can save a handful of games in the first half, Houston could flip him to a contender with a closer crisis.
I have no idea if it will work, but it’s just another example of the Jeff Luhnow and Brad Mills’ creative thinking with the new-look Houston Astros.
Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Padres have announced that interim manager Pat Murphy won’t return as the team’s manager in 2016. Haudricourt adds that Brewres manager Craig Counsell tried to get Murphy on his staff, and says to look for Murphy to join the Brewers for the 2016 season.
Murphy led the Padres to a 42-53 record after Bud Black was fired in June. He had previously managed for two years with Single-A Eugene in 2011-12, and at Triple-A Tucson and El Paso in 2013-14.
Former major leaguer Phil Nevin is a candidate for the Padres’ vacant managing position, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.