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Myers comfortable in transition back from bullpen

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The way Brett Myers sees things, his move to the Indians' rotation after working as a reliever all of last season is less of a transition and more of a return to his comfort zone. Starting games and chewing up innings is what Myers has done for most of his career.

"It's not really a transition at all," Myers said. "I've started my whole career. This is nothing new. Last year was actually the first Spring Training where I didn't work as a starter to prepare for the season."

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Myers said he still does not know why Houston moved him to the bullpen in 2012.

On Saturday, Myers took the hill at Goodyear Ballpark for his first outing as a member of Cleveland's rotation. The right-hander logged two innings and allowed two runs (one earned) to open the Tribe's 13-10 win over Cincinnati.

Myers, entering his 12th big league season, worked exclusively with fastballs and changeups in his first appearance.

"I felt fine," said Myers, who signed a one-year contract for $7 million with the Indians this offseason. "I'm just trying to work on my fastball location and my changeup. I'll throw the other stuff later. I need those two pitches right now.

"The changeup is my fourth pitch, so I want to work on it and make sure it's there for the season."

Myers' first inning was not without a touch of drama.

With two outs, Myers hit Reds rookie outfielder Donald Lutz with a misplaced changeup to put runners on first and second. The pitcher said something from the mound and Lutz glared back as he slowly headed up the first-base line. Myers said he was not talking to the Reds hitter.

"I said something to the umpire," Myers said. "I said, 'He's got to get out of the way of that, doesn't he?' Because he didn't move at all. The umpire came out. I don't know if he said anything to [catcher Lou Marson] or whatnot. It wasn't anything. Maybe he thought I said something to him."

Cleveland is counting on Myers, 32, to provide some stability for its starting staff. In seven full seasons as a starter, the righty has logged 190 innings six times and 210 innings in three seasons. As a starter, Myers has gone 89-79 with a 4.27 ERA in 249 outings.

Myers went 21-22 with a 3.79 ERA as a starter across the 2010-11 seasons, during which he had 340 strikeouts and 123 walks over 439 2/3 innings for the Astros. Myers' production over that span was especially respectable given that Houston combined to lose 192 games in those two seasons.

"He will throw a bundle of innings," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "The one thing he's always prided himself on is staying out there through six [innings] at least. ... If you do that, you keep your team in the game."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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