Putting to rest what one writer called the worst kept secret in camp, manager Charlie Manuel named Brett Myers his opening day starter for the 2007 season.
The 26-year-old right-hander, who was the recipient of a new three-year contract, looks sharp and feels great this spring. Some are expecting the former first-round pick to raise his game to an elite status, and this move should give Myers some added confidence. With Freddy Garcia expected to miss his first regular season start, Myers was a more obvious choice than ever.
Dobbs still hot, Coste’s role uncertain
Bench candidate Greg Dobbs hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning of yesterday's loss, his fourth homer in Grapefruit League play. He’s swinging such a hot bat it’s hard to imagine a scenario where he doesn’t come north with the club, barring any last minute trade. He’s hitting .372/.440/.721 and has versatility on his side. He’s played outfield and corner infield this spring, and it does not appear the team will carry two traditional utility infielders.
Meanwhile, catcher Chris Coste has been nursing a hamstring injury and has only registered 19 plate appearances and hardly any looks in the field. The suggestion in a Dallas newspaper is the Rangers may be looking to trade for Coste, as their own backup catcher situation is unsteady. Strange things happen at the end of spring training when teams feel uneasy. The Phillies may have been more willing to deal Coste a two weeks ago, before catcher Carlos Ruiz started experiencing shoulder discomfort.
Uncertainty at set-up, left-handed relief
Speaking of discomfort, the set-up situation must be making Charlie Manuel’s head explode. The manager likes having set bullpen assignments, and hasn’t had a true 7th, 8th and 9th inning lineup since Ryan Madson, Ugueth Urbina and Billy Wagner held the roles in 2005.
Lately, Matt Smith, who was thought to be a lock to come north, has been brutalized so badly, one wonders whether he should work it out in Ottawa. Should he fail, Eude Brito might get a nod. That would make yet another correct end-of-camp prediction by Beerleaguer regular Billy Mac.
Totally awesome site maintenance
Beerleaguer.com, a domain name I’ve owned for two years but haven’t properly merged with the site, has officially been parked over the typepad url. Regular readers who’ve bookmarked to the typepad url should experience no difference; viewers can access the site both ways. The only difference is, if you navigate to the site by going to www.beerleaguer.com, it stays in the address field. I figured after two years, Beerleaguer was ready for a true dot.com.
Adam Eaton tunes up against Bronson Arroyo and the Reds. Rheal Cormier will pitch for Cincinnati. He is reportedly on the trade block.