Myers May Need Surgery; Who Takes His Spot?

Brett Myers sore right hip will likely put him on the DL, after an MRI revealed fraying of the labrum, which might require surgery. With that in mind, who are the in-house candidates to fill his spot?

The news on Brett Myers' ailing hip doesn't sound good. An MRI revealed fraying of the labrum, which will most likely require surgery and could end his season. Considering how Myers was limping and grimacing during and after his outing last night, the news doesn't come as a great surprise.

GM Ruben Amaro Jr. released a statement saying that an x-ray last night also revealed bone spurs on his hip. Amaro said that a decision on whether Myers will wind up on the DL will be made at a later date, but avoiding a trip to the DL seems unlikely for Myers, who will seek a second opinion on his injury.

So, the search begins for another arm to put into the rotation. First name up... Chan Ho Park.

It doesn't figure that the Phillies would put the newly demoted Park back into the rotation. Park was most effective last season as a reliever for the Dodgers and his best work for the Phillies has come as a reliever, so there is no reason to revisit that experiment.

From the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the name Kyle Kendrick (4-3, 4.25) is the first mentioned. Kendrick has generally pitched pretty well, but seems to have that one or two innings per game that blow him out of the water and sometimes out of the game. His change-up, which was the Phillies main reason for sending him to the minors, has gotten better, but might not be the kind of pitch that will be able to get hitters out on a consistent basis. Kendrick is on the same schedule as Myers, so there's a natural fit there and the fact that he has major league experience doesn't hurt either.

Andrew Carpenter (2-0, 3.61) has had an up-and-down season for Lehigh Valley. He started the season terribly, improved well, only to have a couple tough outings against Toledo in back-to-back games and has now allowed just one earned run in his last 13 Triple-A innings. He made an emergency start for the Phillies that turned out to be his first major league win even though he allowed five earned runs in 4 1/3 innings in a game that was shortened by rain. Carpenter last pitched on Tuesday and is slated to start again Sunday. The Phillies will need either a healthy Brett Myers or a replacement on Wednesday June 3 against San Diego.

Carlos Carrasco (0-6, 5.81) started the season with three strong starts, but hasn't been the same over the last month, during which he's posted an 8.07 ERA for the IronPigs. Now wouldn't seem like the right time to promote him, but maybe a good challenge is just what he needs right now.

Veteran right-hander Rodrigo Lopez (2-2, 4.84) has experience, but has been inconsistent for Lehigh Valley. And Antonio Bastardo, who is drawing a lot of attention for his performance both last season and this season, made his second Triple-A start of his career Thursday afternoon against Buffalo and pitched very well for the 'Pigs, throwing seven shutout innings and picking up the win. He's weak on experience, but is one of the hotter pitchers in the organization right now.

The Reading Phillies have three good pitching prospects in their rotation, but none of them - Joe Savery, Mike Stutes and Vance Worley - are ready to provide help at the major league level. Savery (4-1, 4.39) could be the next one to move up a level though if he continues to pitch as well as he has early on in the season.

Kendrick or possibly, Carpenter would be the favorites to fill-in at the major league level if Myers were to miss any starts, but neither is a very comforting choice. The sexy choice would be Bastardo and it's not out of the question that he could leap over the others to get a shot with the Phillies.

Myers is eligible for free agency after the season and would likely only delay surgery if he were able to rehab the injury and return to the rotation, which would severely hurt his chances of landing a big money deal. Of course, missing most, or possibly all, of the remainder of the season would also be a big blow to his free agency. It's likely that the Phillies search for another arm will intensify and that the search will turn outside of the organization to find a potential trade target from another club.



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