This spring training for the Phillies might as well be a microcosm of Brett Myers' professional career. Although the Phillies are much looser and more focused than in years passed, backlash and incidents towards the media have been at an all time high. Whether it be Todd Pratt walking out in the middle of an interview or Myers himself calling out and spitting at a reporter, these incidents not only reflect poorly on the ball club, but also showcase the maturity or lack there of, of certain players on this team.
Myers’ spring training has been a disappointment; much like his Major League career has been to date. Making three appearances, Meyers has posted a 1-0 record with one strikeout and six walks. More troubling is the fact that his ERA is far above five, standing at 6.75. Those are not numbers one would like to see from a starting pitcher coming off the worst season of his short career.
But the question is, how much of Myers struggles in recent memory have to do with simple baseball mechanics, or a much deeper rooted problem; his maturity?
Maturity has been an ongoing issue for Brett Myers, both on and off the mound throughout his career. Between his continued sulking on the mound after giving up a key hit or home run, or the aforementioned incident this spring, Myers has shown repeatedly that he has yet to find himself as a person or a baseball player. As reported by Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News, even as recently as this past off-season, Brett Meyers dared anyone outside of a major league clubhouse to call his 11-11 record from last season a disappointment. How such a record coming from a pitcher who has the potential to be the ace of the staff cannot be viewed as a disappointment is mind-boggling.
“I worked with [Myers] quite often last season not just on the pitching issues, but more often than I would have liked to the maturity issues facing him as well” commented Kerrigan in a recent televised interview. The fact that Kerrigan spent time on not only baseball pitching issues, but also emotional development issues with Myers during the season, and he was one of Kerrigan's biggest critics during the year is quite disturbing in itself.
Granted, each individual is different and pitchers can be some of the more volatile players on a team, but entering the third season of his career, Myers should be further on the road to maturity than he is at this juncture. Some of the best pitchers in the game, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina and Schilling all have been able to find maturity on the mound at the very least. Myers must step up both professionally and personally this season if both he and the team hope to be successful this season and in the future. If he does not, then he may find himself out of the rotation.