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.