LOS ANGELES - Twenty-four hours after learning that he had been left off the Phillies' roster for the National League Championship Series, Brett Myers still was having trouble digesting the decision yesterday.
"I'm upset," the pitcher said before Game 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers last night.
Myers, 29, had hip surgery June 4. At the time, team officials thought his season was over. The righthander stayed dedicated to a rehabilitation program and made it back in early September. The club hoped Myers could help in the bullpen, but he had a 6.43 ERA in eight games. He pitched just two-thirds of an inning in the division series.
"It's tough going through all that [rehab]," Myers said. "This is the whole reason I tried to get back, to be in the postseason. Now they took that away.
"They said I wasn't sharp. I disagree. They told me my curveball was sharp. That contradicts itself. But whatever. I'll stay around and support my teammates."
Manager Charlie Manuel said: "I look at this as almost spring training for Brett. He had a very serious injury, came back, and maybe it was too early, I don't know."
Myers and pitcher Kyle Kendrick were removed from the roster, while reliever Chan Ho Park and utility man Eric Bruntlett went on it. The Phils believe they need an extra bench man after using Miguel Cairo, who is primarily an infielder, in the outfield, and pitcher Cliff Lee as a pinch-runner in the division series.
"Brett should be upset," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "It's tough news to take. But we said all along that we have to take the 25 guys we feel give us the best chance to beat the Dodgers. Right or wrong, this is the way we went. Brett didn't have a chance to pitch a lot, and he's not as sharp as we'd like. It's not his fault. He put a lot of work in."
Myers was the Phillies' top draft pick in 1999. He has pitched for the club for eight seasons. He will be a free agent this winter, and may have thrown his last pitch for the Phils.
"This doesn't preclude him from coming back," Amaro said. "You always need pitching. We haven't thought that far ahead."
Myers could be added to the roster if there is an injury. The Phillies also can make adjustments if they advance to the World Series. But for now, Myers is a spectator - with a sense of humor.
"I, at least, thought they'd keep me on the roster for my bat," he said.