Phils may add reliever Myers to roster

Updated: October 24, 2009, 9:41 AM ET
By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies won't make any decisions about their World Series roster until after they know their opponent. But adding reliever Brett Myers is a possibility "we have to consider," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Friday.

Meanwhile, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Cliff Lee would likely start Game 1 of the Series, with Cole Hamels and Pedro Martinez also likely starters, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. He said Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ would likely begin the series in the bullpen and that he'd be willing to use Lee on three days' rest if needed.

Myers was on the Phillies' postseason roster for the Division Series. But he was left off the NLCS roster because Phillies officials decided he hadn't fully recovered from a strained lat muscle near his throwing shoulder.

However, Amaro said Friday that the 29-year-old has made progress over the last week and a half, and "he's throwing pretty well."

Myers was one of four de-activated Phillies relievers who threw a simulated game Tuesday, on the off day before Game 5 of the LCS. (Tyler Walker, Clay Condrey and Kyle Kendrick were the others to throw.) And the GM indicated Myers had made significant strides.

"His stuff is sharper," Amaro said. "His breaking ball's better. He was pretty crisp with his location. He's throwing better. And that's a great sign."

The decision on Myers could hinge on whether the Phillies decide to carry 12 pitchers or 11 for the World Series, Amaro said. They carried 12 in the Division Series but only 11 in the LCS.

Once upon a time, Myers was the Phillies' Opening Day starter. But he made just 10 starts before going on the disabled list with a hip injury that required surgery. He returned in September and allowed just one hit and no runs in 4 1/3 innings in his first four relief appearances, but wasn't the same after straining his lat muscle. He pitched once in the LDS, but walked two of the five hitters he faced and hit another.

Two possible reasons the Phillies might strongly consider reactivating him if they wind up playing the Yankees: 1.) He pitched eight innings of eight-hit, three-run baseball at Yankee Stadium in May in a win over the Yankees. And 2.) he beat CC Sabathia in last year's playoffs, when Sabathia was a Brewer.

Of course, the highlight of that win over Sabathia last October was actually Myers' hitting, not his pitching. He drew a nine-pitch walk off Sabathia that set the stage for a game-turning Shane Victorino grand slam two hitters later.

Asked if the Phillies might have to get Myers on the roster just for his bat if they have to face the Yankees and Sabathia, Amaro replied: "Well, we know he can draw a walk. So that's a good point. I haven't brought that one up, though."

Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Jayson Stark | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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