Mailbag: Why start Myers in opener?
Beat reporter Ken Mandel answers fans' burning questions
What was the rationale for starting Brett Myers on Opening Day, given Cole Hamels' emergence as the team's ace last season?
-- Alex B., Yardley, Pa.
-- Andy B., Loysville, Pa. Schmidt is in camp with the Phillies as a special hitting instructor -- his annual two-week visit to Clearwater. Schmidt has said he has no desire for any big league coaching gig. What are the chances of moving Pat Burrell to right field and letting Geoff Jenkins cover left? Jenkins has more speed than Burrell.
-- Barry S., Tamaqua, Pa. Zero. Burrell isn't going to become faster playing right field. Jenkins can play both, and the team prefers to leave Burrell in the spot where he feels most comfortable. I was curious about the Phillies' decision not to pursue Freddy Garcia. Did they not believe that he will come back 100 percent from his injury, or was it more the money and contract length that he would have asked for, or something else?
-- Erik P., Johnson City, Tenn.
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All of the above. Really, what's there to be curious about? Garcia was hurt when he arrived and won one game for his $10 million salary. The righty will likely be out until at least June while he recovers from September shoulder surgery. There's no reason to bring him back.Who backs up Shane Victorino in center field?
-- Keith G., Easton, Pa. So Taguchi and Jayson Werth will find at-bats in center when Victorino needs a rest. Manager Charlie Manuel said he hopes Victorino can play at least 130 games, and has adequate backup plans. Werth and Taguchi have already seen time in center field in preparation. After the Phillies signed Pedro Feliz, shouldn't they have traded or released Wes Helms? They also have Gregg Dobbs at third.
-- Jose A., Coatesville, Pa. The team has every intention of resolving the situation with Helms. It's highly doubtful that he will be on the Opening Day roster. Kyle Lohse is still looking for a team, and may have lowered his salary demands since no one has shown much interest in him. Any chance the Phillies will pursue him again?
-- Steve K., Sunbury, Pa. The Lohse ship has sailed. The Phillies offered him three years and $21-million over the winter, and were rebuffed, so they went in another direction.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.