Todd Zolecki reports today that the Phillies have been discussing turning very good, young, and healthy starter Brett Myers into a closer, and Myers himself seems cool with the idea.
This might be the dumbest idea I've ever heard. If the Phillies are trying to improve their bargaining position vis-a-vis solving their six starter "conundrum" it's a terrible strategy because no one could possibly think that a team would be that stupid. It's kind of like hiding stuff on your computer from your wife in a folder on the desktop with a Cookie Monster icon titled "NOT P0rN!" But then I remembered, this IS the Phillies, and they MIGHT ACTUALLY BE CONSIDERING THIS, and I projectile vomited on my dog.
Recent baseball history is full of examples of converted starters making good in the bullpen: Eckersley, Smoltz, Gagne, Rivera, Papelbon, etc. But in each case, the conversion was due to extenuating circumstances that rendered the pitcher in question mostly to completely worthless as a starter (lack of experience, ineffectiveness, lack of stamina, recovery from injury, etc.). I can't think of a single example of a team taking a very effective, young starting pitcher with a track record of success at the major league level with few to no health concerns and converting him into a closer.
I'm not saying ace relievers are unimportant. They can be crucial to a team's success. But taking ostensibly your best starting pitcher and cutting him from 200+ innings pitched to 70, no matter how high-leverage those innings may be, is a terrible, terrible waste of talent.