Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Please, No Moyer

Jamie Moyer is a statistical anomaly. Look at his numbers, and they just don't make any sense: 21 games, 5.55 ERA, 118.1 innings pitched, 137 hits, 74 runs, 73 earned runs, 22 home runs, 37 walks, 68 strikeouts, 1.47 WHIP, .351 opponent's batting average.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, that is Jamie Moyer digging his own grave

He has the worst ERA; least innings pitched per start; most hits per inning; has given up the most runs, earned runs and home runs; has the worst WHIP and has the highest batting average against of any of the current starters in the Phillies rotation. Yet here he is at 10-8, somehow leading the Phillies in wins. That's proof that wins and losses are the dumbest stat for a pitcher in baseball, even if the bottom line is to win the game.

Throw out the W-L columns, and Jamie Moyer is clearly the worst pitcher in the starting rotation. There simply is no question about it. He proved that once again last night, giving up 6 runs on 6 hits with 4 walks and a home run in just 5 innings to pick up the loss. Simply put, Jamie Moyer just isn't very good anymore.

With Pedro Martinez working his way to the big club, the Phillies have too many starting pitchers and nowhere to put them. The logical choice, the right choice, is remove the worst pitcher from the rotation to make room for Pedro. That would be Moyer. But the Phillies already have moved Rodrigo Lopez, who had pitched very well in his five starts, to the bullpen, and when Pedro is ready, it is believed the Phillies are going to move J.A. Happ back to the pen.

Yes, the same J.A. Happ who has gone 7-2 in his 13 starts. The same J.A. Happ with a 2.97 ERA. The same J.A. Happ who has given up less hits than he has innings pitched. The same J.A. Happ with a 1.16 WHIP. The same J.A. Happ the Phillies were incredibly reluctant to give up at the trade deadline when paired with Kyle Drabek. How, exactly, does that make sense?

Granted, I don't think Happ is quite as good as his numbers suggest, seeing as he hasn't faced too many strong lineups and hasn't been seen a second time by anyone, but I certainly think, scratch that, know he is better than Jamie Moyer right now. He has better stuff, better command and doesn't rely on the whims of an umpire's strike zone in order to be effective. At this stage, Moyer does.

But any time even the slightest suggestion of removing Moyer from the rotation once all the arms are in the fold comes up, people say they don't see it happening, they don't see how the Phillies could do that. Why? Because Jamie Moyer has earned the right, he's done so much for the team, he's been so good for so long, blah, blah, blah. To be perfectly frank, that is some fucking ridiculous reasoning. The Phillies can't take Moyer out of the rotation, for the good of the team, because it might hurt his feelings? Because he's been doing this for so long he's earned it? Even when he sucks complete balls right now? Bullshit.

Sports are about winning, especially when your team is trying to repeat. The best way to do that is to put the best players on the field no matter what. J.A. Happ is a better starting pitcher than Jamie Moyer right now. So is Cole Hamels. And Cliff Lee. And Joe Blanton. Rodrigo Lopez has been better. And I'm guessing Pedro Martinez will be to.

Maybe Jamie can't pitch in the bullpen. Happ has proven he can. But when all the arms in the pen get healthy, with Scott Eyre, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson, Clay Condrey, Rodrigo Lopez, Chan Ho Park, Chad Durbin, Brett Myers and Brad Lidge, they won't need Happ or Moyer in the pen anyway. They'll need someone to be left out. That should be Moyer. No questions asked.

A spot in the starting rotation is not, or at least should not be, a lifetime achievement award. It should be reserved for the pitchers who are doing the job the best. I know Jamie has done some terrific things in his career, done some terrific things since coming to Philadelphia. He won 16 games last year, pitched brilliantly in Game 3 of the World Series. He also was horrendous in his other postseason starts, and he's just not cutting it this season.

It may not be the thing people want to hear, but Jamie Moyer's time is just about up. I just hope and pray the Phillies realize it before it's too late.

BallHype: hype it up!


  1. Perhaps his #'s are not such an anamaly. Maybe all the players in the lineup look up to Moyer and want him to win that bad, that they hit and score that much more???? Maybe when he's in, everyone around him plays better? Just a thought

  2. I'm sure they do look up to Jamie and respect him and all, but I'm pretty sure they don't try any harder or want to win any more just because he's out there. Doesn't really work that way, seeing as the opposing pitcher has a lot to do with how the Phils swing the bats.

  3. Also, we haven't even seen Pedro pitch yet. If he sucks this whole article is speculation, unless you think lopez should start over Moyer???? Which I think is kinda ridiculous!

  4. Happ has to be in the lineup after doubt!