HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 28: Pitcher Brett Myers #39 of the Houston Astros throws against the St. Louis Cardinals at Minute Maid Park on September 28, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Astros Spring Training: GM Says Brett Myers In Closer Role Is Negotiable

The Astros are making some unexpected shifts in the rotation and bullpen with arguably their most dependable starter.

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Astros Spring Training: GM Says Brett Myers In Closer Role Is Negotiable

The Houston Astros don’t exactly have a dependable pitching staff laden with proven commodities, so it’s been a surprising development this offseason when the Astros announced that Brett Myers would move to the closer role. With Brandon Lyon out, a move has to be made somewhere, but few predicted this would be the answer. However new general manager Jeff Luhnow says that both sides are excited about the move yet it’s also something that could change.

“I think for our team, right now, where we are and what we need, Myers in the bullpen is going to help us,” he told MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes. “We’ve got some options in the rotation and we really didn’t have good options for that [closer] role. He’s excited about it, and I’m excited to see how it works out. If it doesn’t work out, we can always go back to the other way.”

Myers threw nearly 450 innings the last two seasons in the Astros rotation and he hasn’t played the closer role since 2006 with the Philadelphia Phillies when he had 21 saves and a 4.33 ERA. However, Luhnow is out to make the team to be the best it can and his hire was likely to bring the unconventional given his analytical background. If it’s a fluid situation, perhaps the best response is a simple “why not?”

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Astros Spring Training: Jordan Lyles Receives Special Attention From Pitching Coach Jon Matlack

If the Houston Astros are going to take a step forward this season, it’s likely that Jordan Lyles will also progress forward. The Astros clearly are counting on Lyles to become their ace and the prospect rose to the Major Leagues last season earlier than some might have expected and found his own ups and downs along the way. The flashes were there, however, and the team hopes he can make good moving forward.

He’s also receiving some extra attention this spring from Astros pitching coach Jon Matlack.

“We’re just tweaking some things that people have seen in my delivery that maybe there’s more energy I can put into it and the velocity would be greater,” Lyles said. “We were really bouncing thoughts off of each other, and he was asking me, ‘What am I thinking? What am I doing?’ He’s trying to get the most out of my frame and my delivery.”

“It’s always great to hear another person’s view,” he continued. “I can talk to them about what they see and what ideas they have. You never know what someone could say and it just clicks for you. You never know who it’s going to come from or what they’re going to say, but the more people you hear from the better. I’m trying to be the best I can be and get everything I can out of myself.”

Lyles went 2-8 last season with a 5.36 ERA.

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