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Houston Astros Move Pitcher Brett Myers to Closer

Bob Levey, Getty Images
Bob Levey, Getty Images

The Houston Astros search for a closer ended Tuesday morning with a surprise announcement as the ball-club has decided to move veteran right-hander Brett Myers into the role.

Myers has been a starter in all but one of his 10 Major League seasons, serving as the Philadelphia Phillies closer in 2007. Meyers, 31, began the ’07 season as the Phillies’ Opening Day starter before being moved to closer three starts into the season.

In 48 relief appearances with Philly, he went 5-5 with 21 saves and a 2.87 ERA, but was shifted back to the rotation after Philadelphia acquired Brad Lidge prior to the 2008 season.

“I wouldn’t accept it if I didn’t think I could do it, but it’s going to be a challenge for me because it’s something different,” Myers said. “It’s like a position change for me. It’s like taking a first baseman and moving him to third. I’m going to have to work a little harder to get my arm in shape to throw 20 or 25 pitches a night. Hopefully, it will be good for the team and good for the organization.”

The move puts a question mark in the Astros starting rotation now. Myers made 67 starts in his first two years with Houston, going 21-22 with a 3.79 ERA in 439 2/3 innings. It’s the fifth-highest innings total in the National League during that span.

Houston doesn’t lack a list of candidates to replace Myers in the starting five after signing Livan Hernandez and Zach Duke to Minor League contracts this winter. Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris and J.A. Happ are all likely to be in the starting rotation when the season starts, with youngsters Jordan Lyles, Lucas Harrell, Henry Sosa and Kyle Weiland competing for the final spots.

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