© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
05/03/07 11:27 PM ET
Notes: Gordon expected to hit DL
Myers named closer; Flash won't throw for at least eight days
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- When Brett Myers was sent to the bullpen to help make a beleaguered bullpen stronger, manager Charlie Manuel said he would eventually see closing opportunities. Sixteen days later, Myers will see plenty, as he inherits the closer's job from injured Tom Gordon, whose sore shoulder is expected to land him on the disabled list. "I would say it's a very good possibility," general manager Pat Gillick said on the day Gordon received an anti-inflammatory injection from team doctor Michael Ciccotti. He'll be grounded for at least eight days, according to Gillick, and the Phillies can't go that long without a pitcher. We're probably going to do something before the game [Friday]," Gillick said. That means Clay Condrey or Joe Bisenius could return to Philadelphia, or Yoel Hernandez, who has pitched well for Triple-A Ottawa. Gillick said he wanted to talk to Gordon before making a roster move, though his mind seemed pretty well made up. Myers has adjusted very well to the bullpen, as the team's Opening Day starter has compiled a 1.08 ERA in eight games, with 13 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings. The excitable right-hander is ready to move to the more visible role of saving games and insists that he won't change his approach. "I still have to get people out and throw strikes," Myers said, downplaying his new responsibility. "The pressure's on the hitters in that situation. All I have to do is make my pitches. They're the ones who have to get the big hit." Beyond the statistics, Myers' arm has responded remarkably well. The 26-year-old worked three straight days (April 29-May 1) and said he would've pitched a fourth if needed. He's enjoying the chance to factor in as many games as possible. "Brett was going to get a chance to close," manager Charlie Manuel said, "but he was going to get some chances with Flash here." The shift to closing isn't as stark as it might appear, he insists. As a starter, he'd throw 100 pitches one day, rest a day and throw a bullpen session on consecutive days. He'd rest another day, then repeat the process. It's the same here, except without the 100 pitches. The point: He's used to throwing regularly. "It's easier to bounce back from throwing nine pitches than throwing 100," Myers said. "But getting cranked up every night isn't a problem for me, because I have trouble sitting down anyway." Myers doesn't appear to have too much time to sit down now. More on Gordon: Gordon will be re-evaluated Monday or Tuesday by Ciccotti, but still won't throw for at least eight days. The team hopes he'll return on May 17, the first day he would likely be eligible. "The doctor hopes [the injection] will clear up the situation," Gillick said. "We'll see what happens next week and go from there." Manuel conceded Wednesday that has was concerned about Gordon in Spring Training, when the closer flew to Philadelphia on March 12 for what the team called a routine checkup. Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee were meticulous in using Gordon this spring, trying to keep him healthy. Gordon blew three saves this season and had been reluctant to throw his curveball, suggesting that he wasn't feeling strong. "I don't think the curveball was an issue as much as the fastball command," Dubee said. "That was probably the biggest issue. Generally, guys who have some type of ache don't command their fastball. For whatever reason, the arm speed isn't there, or the feel and trust isn't there." Despite feeling less than 100 percent, Gordon kept pitching and recorded his first 1-2-3 inning Tuesday, the day before he flew home. Gillick said Gordon first told head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan of a sore shoulder on April 23. "Flash is pretty private," Gillick said. "Sometimes to find out how he really feels is like pulling teeth. He's not a guy who complains about every little thing. Being around as long as he has, there's things that he knows he can work through, so he doesn't bring it up." Until he had no choice. Quotable: "Go 4-for-4 and hit two or three jacks." -- Manuel, on how Abraham Nunez might work his way into more playing time. Philling in: Manuel reiterated Thursday that he won't likely won't use lefties Jamie Moyer or Cole Hamels in relief against Barry Bonds, should a situation arise this weekend. Yankees manager Joe Torre did something similar with Andy Pettitte, using him twice in relief this season. ... Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum, the team's top pitching prospect, will likely start Sunday's series finale. He is replacing Russ Ortiz, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list. ... Assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. attended the memorial service for former Phillies pitcher Josh Hancock, who was killed in an auto accident on April 29. ... Shane Victorino, who sat out the final two games in Atlanta to recharge his mind and rest his back, went 3-for-3 with two stolen bases and two runs scored. He left in the fifth when his back stiffened up, but should play on Friday. Coming up: Moyer, who is slated to start Friday night's contest in San Francisco, was brilliant in his previous outing on April 29, allowing two hits in 7 1/3 shutout innings against the Marlins. He's turned in five quality starts this season and has pitched at least six innings in 12 of his 13 starts as a Phillie, dating to last season. He has faced the Giants nine times in his career, going 4-4 with a 2.60 ERA. He is one of 438 pitchers to have allowed a homer to Bonds, and he did it five times.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.