MIAMI Right-hander Brett Myers rejoined the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday after starting four games in the minor leagues trying to shake a season-long slump.
"I had to get my swagger back," Myers said. "I felt like I accomplished that."
Myers has not been activated, but he's expected to start one of the Phillies' games next week against the Mets in New York.
He made his final minor league start Friday, allowing two earned runs in 6 2-3 innings for Single-A Clearwater. He then came to Miami, where the Phillies are playing a three-game series against Florida.
Myers started twice for Triple-A Lehigh Valley and once for Double-A Reading, and he went 1-3 in the minors with an ERA of 3.00 and 28 strikeouts in 27 innings. He said the encouragement he received from the Phillies' minor league organization boosted his confidence.
"Everybody in this organization had seen me pitch and been a part in me getting to the big leagues," he said. "It's good to see old faces you hadn't seen in a while, and they tell you what's wrong with you and how you used to be. It opens your eyes a little bit, and you say, 'What the heck have I become?'"
What had he become?
"You can't print it," Myers said.
Despite being sent to the minors on July 1, Myers still leads the majors this season with 24 home runs allowed. The Phils' opening day starter is 3-9 with an ERA of 5.84, and they're 1-11 in his past 12 games.
The return of Myers is the latest change in the Phillies' rotation. They acquired right-hander Joe Blanton from Oakland on Thursday, and he's expected to make his first start for Philadelphia on Tuesday against the Mets.
OSWALT GOES ON DL: Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained hip and a herniated disk in his back. Oswalt (7-8, 4.56 ERA) underwent an MRI exam on Saturday that confirmed a strained left hip abductor and also revealed the disk problem. But manager Cecil Cooper said Oswalt should be ready to start again on July 28 for the opener of a three-game series with Cincinnati.
REDS BRING BACK COFFEY: Jared Burton, who developed into one of the Cincinnati Reds' most dependable setup relievers, went on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained muscle in his right side. The Reds called up right-hander Todd Coffey to take Burton's spot in the bullpen. The right-handed Burton was 4-1 with a 2.23 earned run average in 43 games, often as the setup man for closer Francisco Cordero. He pulled a muscle in his side on a pitch July 6, and has been bothered by it since then. The Reds gave him a few days off before the All-Star break, and he felt much better when he returned.
CARPENTER TO BEGIN REHAB: Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, sidelined since opening day in 2007 because of an elbow injury, will begin a rehab assignment on Sunday with hopes of joining the rotation in August. Carpenter, the 2005 NL Cy Young winner, will begin his rehab stint with Double-A Springfield. The team is hopeful he won't need the full month before joining the staff and anticipate him joining the rotation immediately, rather than working out of the bullpen at first. Carpenter is starting his rehab at Double-A instead of at a lower level because the organization feels hitters at lower classifications are too free-swinging.
OAKLAND'S BARTON ON DL: Daric Barton smacked his head on the bottom of a pool during the All-Star break, requiring six staples to close the gash and leaving the Oakland first baseman with a neck strain that landed him on the disabled list Saturday. Barton was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to July 14. The Athletics recalled infielder Wes Bankston from Triple-A Sacramento and started him at first base against the New York Yankees.