ARLINGTON, Texas - All signs point to something happening with Brett Myers' spot in the rotation, but manager Charlie Manuel said he won't be sure about the identity of that something until today or tomorrow.
Manuel said that all options are on the table, though he added that sending the struggling righthander down to the minors is not one of them.
Myers is 3-9 with a 5.84 ERA.
"I want to make sure we do what's right for the team and Brett," Manuel said. "He's definitely kind of mentally spent right now. Those are things that we've been talking about and we'll talk more about it tomorrow."
General manager Pat Gillick mentioned on the Phillies' radio pregame show yesterday that the team might utilize the off day today to juggle a spot in the rotation, presumably Myers'. They could conceivably start Cole Hamels on Thursday against the Braves, which would give him 5 days rest, and skip Myers completely. But that would also require them to pitch Jamie Moyer (7-5, 4.13 ERA) on his normal day, and Manuel said yesterday he wants to get the 45-year-old lefthander as much rest as possible.
"I'll say this - Moyer, with the length he's been pitching and the innings he's pitched already, that's a concern too," he said. "If there is some way possible, I would like for him to get that extra day because of how many innings he's got and how [much] he's been pitching. Those are things that we're discussing."
The Phillies could call up a player from the minors - lefty J.A. Happ, who leads the International League in strikeouts and started against the Mets last year, is scheduled to pitch for Lehigh Valley on Thursday - but that would require them to expose a player to waivers. They could also go for a pitcher-by-committee method, using long relievers Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson - both of whom have started at the major league level - in place of Myers.
"I want the best way to keep our pitching as strong as it possibly can be, if we can figure out something to make it work," Manuel said. "We've got a lot of things we can do. But what do we think is best? That's kind of where we are at."
, a ninth-round draft pick out of LSU in 2005, hit three home runs in his first three at-bats for Class A Clearwater in an 11-3 win over the St. Lucie Mets Saturday. He was hit with pitches in both of his remaining at-bats . . . Rangers first baseman
solo home run off
in the second inning made him the first player in franchise history to homer in his first two major league starts . . . When Rangers catcher
out at second base in the first inning, it was the first time a Phillies baserunner had been caught stealing since June 6 at Atlanta. In between, they had stolen 25 consecutive bases. *