I called this big year the “Adrian Beltre year.”
The pitcher I had targeted to have a big year, or an “Adrian Beltre year” was the Philadelphia Phillies’ Brett Myers. Here is what I wrote about Myers last January:
“After being summoned to the bullpen in 2007, Myers had a descent 2008 by going 10-13 with a 4.55 in 190 innings. Like Blalock, there are a couple of things I like about Myers this year.
1. It seems like Myers has been in the majors forever but he is still only 29 years old. The ages of 28 and 29 is usually when a pitcher comes into his own.
2. This will be the first time Myers will be pitching for a free agent contract.
3. Myers will be pitching once again on a good team with a solid bullpen which won’t blow leads for him late in the game.”
Well, things always don’t work out the way you think they would.
Myers struggled in April and May, giving up 17 home runs in 63.2 IP; he then went on the disabled list, ended up having hip surgery, and returned in September, only to find himself in the bullpen. Even my thought that the Phillies would have a solid bullpen in 2009 didn’t hold true.
Overall, on the season, Myers went 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA, giving up 18 home runs in 70.2 innings, with his lowest K/9 ratio since 2004 (6.4).
Despite having a rough season in 2009, the Houston Astros are hoping Myers can bounce back in 2010. According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggert , the Astros have signed Myers to a one-year, $5 million deal, which includes an option for 2012.
One of the reasons that Myers signed with the Astros is because the Astros offered him a spot in their rotation. Myers will be the Astros' No. 3 starter heading into 2010, behind Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez. Bud Norris and Felipe Paulino should round out the rotation.
I have my doubts as to whether or not Myers can improve on his gopher ball habits pitching in Minute Maid Park. However, considering the Astros started the 2009 season with Russ Ortiz and Brian Moehler in the starting rotation, Myers does represent an upgrade in 2010.
Myers is the third acquisition the Astros have made to bolster their pitching staff this offseason. Earlier in this offseason, the Astros signed Brandon Lyon and traded for Matt Lindstrom.
Despite their acquisitions to the pitching staff, the Astros still strike me as a fourth- or fifth-place team in the NL Central. I expect the Astros to finish behind the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and perhaps the Cincinnati Reds in 2010.
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg.