Phillies move Myers to bullpen, put Lieber in rotation

Philadelphia's season-long bullpen problems have prompted manager Charlie Manuel to radically alter his pitching staff.

On Wednesday, Manuel indefinitely moved struggling No. 1 starter Brett Myers to a set-up role in the bullpen and promoted right-hander Jon Lieber to the starting rotation.

Manuel plans to use Myers mostly in the seventh or eighth innings, as a set-up man for Phillies closer Tom Gordon. He also could see work as a closer when Gordon isn't available.

"I'm not going to be selfish about it. If this is what it takes to get us to the playoffs, then that's what I'm going to do," Myers said. "They left it up to me. They left it as my decision, and I told them that whatever is going to help the team, I'm going to do.''

Myers got a taste of his new role right away and had success. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning Wednesday night, but the Phillies still lost to the Nationals 5-4 in 13 innings.

Myers is in his sixth full major league season. Manuel believes that the right-handed Myers will have a better chance to bolster his relief corps because of his power pitching.

"Now that the season has started and we started seeing what we had and kind of how our bullpen looks, we figure that Myers gives us a bigger arm at the back end of our bullpen,'' Manuel said. "We think Myers will, over the course of the year, get in 65-70 games, probably. As a starter, it would be 35."

Myers, who is 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA in three starts, signed a three-year, $25.75 million contract after the '06 season.

Lieber is expected to start in place of Myers on Friday against the Reds. In two relief appearances, Lieber has no record with a 11.57 ERA.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.