Searching for a way to get Brett Myers straightened out, the Phillies approached Myers with an idea; accept an assignment to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies had to get Myers permission because he has more than five years service time, but Myers was willing to accept the assignment to get himself straightened out.
The idea was hatched by Assistant GM Ruben Amaro, manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee. There is no timetable set for how long Myers will be with Lehigh Valley and the Phillies have also not named someone to take Myers spot in the big league rotation.
"I can't say enough about Brett's willingness to accept this assignment," said Phillies GM Pat Gillick. "We discussed it with Brett and his agent and we all came to a meeting of the minds."
The move allows Myers to stay in the starting rotation, rather than having to accept being sent to the bullpen at the big league level. The Phillies had pondered skipping Myers spot in the rotation when it next came up, which they could do because of Monday's off day, but decided this would provide Myers with an opportunity to pitch on his regular rest and continue working as a starter. Gillick stressed that there was no agreement on how many starts Myers would make for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, and that he wasn't given any guarantees on when he would return to the 25 man roster.
Under MLB service time rules, Myers had the right to accept or decline the assignment.
Myers is 3-9 with a 5.84 ERA in 17 starts for the Phillies. The team is 3-14 in games that he started. Myers struggles got worse as the season wore on with him posting a 5.06 ERA in April, a 5.94 ERA in May and a 6.67 ERA in June. He hasn't won a game since May 30th. Myers made three minor league starts on a rehab assignment last season, but hasn't been on a minor league roster since 2002 when he pitched at Triple-A Scranton, which was then in the Phillies organization. Ironically, Scranton will be the opposing team when Myers starts for the 'Pigs Wednesday night.