A Real Head-Scratcher
The Phillies set their NLCS roster and starting rotation, and just about everything is the same, except:
- Chan Ho Park is in
- Brett Myers is out
- Eric Bruntlett is in
- Kyle Kendrick is out
I can understand adding Chan Ho Park to the roster, and I can understand taking Kyle Kendrick off, but why — why?! — is Bruntlett on the roster and Myers is off?
Considering that Miguel Cairo is still on the roster — a spot he earned with his performance at the end of the regular season — there is no need for Eric Bruntlett, a lite-version of Cairo, if you will. The Dodgers are also lefty-heavy with Clayton Kershaw, Randy Wolf, Hong-Chih Kuo, and George Sherrill. Bruntlett has hit for a .648 OPS this season and .738 over his career.
John Mayberry, meanwhile, had an .831 OPS in limited playing time this season and .849 over his Minor League career. Mayberry has also contributed half as many runs on the basepaths as Bruntlett, who has had more than twice as many total base running opportunities, according to Baseball Prospectus. There is absolutely no reason why Eric Bruntlett should be on the NLCS roster.
Furthermore, the Dodgers’ offense is righty-heavy. Three of their top-four hitters, in terms of OPS, are right-handed. Why not use Cole Hamels, Pedro Martinez, Joe Blanton, and Cliff Lee in the starting rotation, and send J.A. Happ to the pen? As a result, the Phillies could leave Antonio Bastardo off and Brett Myers on the NLCS roster, leaving them still with two lefty-specialists, and five — instead of four — right-handers in the bullpen.
The current formation essentially means that the Phillies will use Happ as a starter and Joe Blanton will likely move to the bullpen. As for Chan Ho Park, the Phillies will be relying heavily on him despite not knowing, truly, what they will be able to get out of him.
At any rate, Myers being left off the NLCS roster likely closes out his career in Philadelphia. I can’t imagine he took the news well, and the Phillies wouldn’t leave him off the roster if they intended on bringing him back next season.