Brett Myers Is A Testament To Phillies Depth

Brett Myers has long been hailed as the next Curt Schilling and the future of the Phillies starting rotation for years to come. Last season Myers compiled nine victories before the all-star break and finished the season with 14 wins. The fact that Myers is currently planted in the five slot of Philadelphia's rotation speaks volumes about this club's depth from top to bottom.

Larry Bowa has already gone on record to state that this is the deepest club he has had during his tenure as manager in Philadelphia and Brett Myers clearly personifies that statement. During the off-season Ed Wade was determined to silence his critics (myself included) for his lack of moves during the final stretch of last season, and by re-signing Kevin Millwood and trading for Eric Milton to bolster this season's starting rotation, he clearly succeeded.

It is ironic that Myers made his Major League debut against Chicago phenom Mark Prior. Prior has already climbed the latter in the Cubs rotation to the number two spot and is poised to challenge ace Kerry Wood for the top spot in 2004. Both Prior and Myers are planted in the middle of strong pitching staffs and both have almost limitless potential for their fledgling careers.

It will be interesting to see the pitching matchups Philadelphia goes up against on nights that Myers is on the mound because not many teams have an ace in waiting as their number five pitcher. The Phillies clearly have the deepest rotation in baseball and that should translate into many victories in 2004.

Pitching from the bottom of the rotation may have more benefits for Myers than meets the eye. For one, teams will already have faced the task of preparing for four dominating pitchers before matching up with the Phillies phenom, and that could prove to be a daunting task. In addition, by hurling last in the rotation, Myers has established pitchers ahead of him in the rotation to watch and learn from. He will also have the luxury of seeing how those pitchers work opposing hitters and will be able to pick their brains about how to go about pitching in key situations.

The consensus among baseball experts is that by next year, Myers will likely be the ace of this staff. It seems that the only thing preventing him from holding that position this year is the immense amount of talent in front of him. The addition of Eric Milton and another year with Kevin Millwood on the staff will only benefit Myers in the future; after all, it cannot hurt to learn from two all-star caliber pitchers in your third season as a professional.

The fact that Philadelphia holds three starting pitchers who have appeared in all-star games is phenomenal. Eric Milton, Randy Wolf and Vincente Padilla have all made appearances in the mid-summer classic. I may be going out on a limb here but it would not surprise me to see Brett Myers in for the 2004 All-Star game.

As Phillies fans prepare for what is destined to be a magical 2004 season, let's take a moment to look into the future. Two years from now the Phils starting rotation could look something like this; Brett Myers, Randy Wolf, Gavin Floyd, Cole Hamels, Vicente Padilla. Should Floyd and Hamels both live up to their sky-high potential, Philadelphia could be a dynasty in the making. The Phillies depth does not show signs of weakening any time soon.

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