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MLBeat: Banner day for Phils
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07/24/2002 3:47 pm ET 
MLBeat: Banner day for Phils
Start by Myers offers glimpse at the future
By Amy Sternig / MLB.com

Brett Myers warms up in the bullpen before making his Major League debut Wednesday at Wrigley Field. (Aynsley Floyd/AP)
CHICAGO -- Brett Myers, welcome to the big leagues.

Myers made his much-anticipated Major League debut Wednesday at Wrigley Field. And for everyone involved with the Phillies organization, it was a banner day.

Manager Larry Bowa said he was pretty excited to see the kid take the mound. He planned to save the lineup card as a souvenir. The only other cards he's saved are from his first game with the Phillies and with the Padres.

While Bowa has stressed he's not expecting big things from the 21-year-old rookie immediately, he also thinks Myers has a great future in the Philadelphia organization.

"This kid's not the savior," he said. "He's part of the solution. There's a lot of heat put on this kid but he's earned the heat. In the words of Jimmy (Rollins): We have to keep it real."

As starting pitchers make it a rule not to talk to reporters on the day of a start, it's anyone's guess how Myers felt Wednesday morning. While he appeared loose and relaxed in the clubhouse, Bowa said, "He can fake it pretty good then."

If his fidgeting during the singing of the "National Anthem" and "God Bless America" were any indication of nervous energy, Myers had enough to power all of Wrigley Field Wednesday.

But Bowa has confidence that Myers is going to make it in the long run.

"I don't think you teach makeup," Bowa said. "You can't teach somebody mental toughness. You either have it or you don't. He has it. He wants it."

It's only his first start, Bowa said, so he said it's a bit premature to throw the term "star" around. Bowa thinks pitchers need a good three years in the Major Leagues before they can truly be evaluated.

"It's a constant adjustment," Bowa said. "It takes three years for you to not get into a pattern."

  • Person update: Pitcher Robert Person is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his shoulder and elbow Wednesday. The team placed him on the 15-day DL, which made room for Myers on the 25-man roster.

  • Arms a'plenty: Bowa said he's heard from five or six people in the organization that Class-A Lakewood pitcher Gavin Floyd has even better stuff than Myers -- if you can believe that.

    "That's a nice problem to have," Bowa mused.

    Floyd is 8-6 this year with a 3.11 ERA in 19 games. Floyd was the Phillies' first-round draft choice in 2001 and the No. 4 overall pick.

  • Ouch: Left fielder Pat Burrell was hit by a nasty pitch Tuesday but made it into Wednesday's starting lineup. Burrell said he iced the area just above the back of his left elbow all night and wore a pressure bandage to keep the swelling down. He refused to wear any sort of protective padding, however, because "I don't want anybody to see it and aim for it."

    "I'm sore, I'm stiff," he said. "It'll be all right."

    Bowa said Burrell told him he felt fine and could start.

    "He's our best hitter, didn't want him out of the lineup," Bowa said. Burrell was hitting .295 overall and .310 in road games heading into Wednesday's game.

    Fantasy Edge: Bobby Abreu is heating up. His Tuesday homer off Cubs starter Matt Clement cut through a 30-mph wind blowing in at Wrigley Field. He's hitting .295 with 10 homers and 53 RBIs.

    Amy Sternig is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





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