Jamie Moyer Defying Expectations with Rockies

Once thought to be headed into retirement, Jamie Moyer is on the comeback trail with the Colorado Rockies. The veteran lefty missed the entirety of the 2011 season and the final ten weeks of the 2010 season due to an elbow injury.  In nine spring training innings thus far, Moyer has a 1.00 ERA backed by seven strikeouts and zero walks.

While Moyer’s style of pitching seems like a bad fit for Coors Field, there is a chance the match works out. Moyer induces a lot of infield flies — his 12 percent pop-up rate since 2007 is tied with noted DIPS-anomalies Matt Cain and Shaun Marcum. Moyer also has excellent control, averaging 2.6 walks per nine innings since 2007, so any damage inflicted by the hitter-friendly tendencies of Coors Field will be done with fewer runners on base than the average pitcher.

Moyer could become just the fourth pitcher since 1901 to complete a full inning in the Majors at the age of 49 or older, joining Satchel Paige (58!), Hoyt Wilhelm, and Jack Quinn.

Rk IP Year Age Tm
1 Satchel Paige 3.0 1965 58 KCA
2 Hoyt Wilhelm 25.1 1972 49 LAD
3 Jack Quinn 15.2 1933 49 CIN
4 Hoyt Wilhelm 20.0 1971 48 TOT
5 Jack Quinn 87.1 1932 48 BRO
6 Phil Niekro 138.2 1987 48 TOT
7 Kaiser Wilhelm 8.0 1921 47 PHI
8 Hoyt Wilhelm 82.0 1970 47 TOT
9 Jack Quinn 64.1 1931 47 BRO
10 Phil Niekro 210.1 1986 47 CLE
11 Jamie Moyer 111.2 2010 47 PHI
12 Nick Altrock 2.0 1924 47 WSH
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/23/2012.

If Moyer is able to stay healthy in each of the next two seasons, it is possible that he will join the illustrious 300-win club. He currently has 267, thus would need to average 16-17 in 2012-13 to make the cut. Many conversations fixating on the next player to join the 300-win club bring up Roy Halladay and C.C. Sabathia while omitting Moyer. With good health, good fortune, and good run support, it is possible that Moyer makes history at the ripe age of 50.

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4 comments

  1. Mike B.

    March 23, 2012 08:31 AM

    This does not surprise me at all. Rooting hard for Jamie!

  2. HighHalladays

    March 23, 2012 11:08 AM

    I am very happy for Jamie, who will always have a special place in the heart of Phils fans. Its a little sad that he may be making history wearing another team’s jersey. Wish he was doing it in the red pinstripes. Even so, I’ll be rooting for him and I suspect most other Phils fans will as well.

  3. Rob SJ

    March 23, 2012 02:23 PM

    This is just crazy, when I heard he wanted to rehab last year with a goal of playing in 2012 I thought he was joking (or kidding himself). Anyone who isn’t rooting for him to succeed isn’t a real baseball fan in my book. The Hawk Will Never Die!

  4. Ken

    March 23, 2012 02:44 PM

    What a great, great tale this is, and thanks for covering it, and a chance to comment. Jamie’s 4 perfect innings last night included a 2K frame in which he came back from 3-0 against Angel Torres. It was an uplifting effort, even if against a weak hitting, said to be disinterested lineup.

    The evaluation of 16-17 wins a year to get to 300 is interesting in that Moyer himself said recently that he figures he’d need to pitch 3 more years, but quickly added how pointless it was to think about it when he needs to make this 2012 Rox club before anything. No matter what, he’s run a great foothold on leaving the game on his terms, and even if the Rox go elsewhere, at the very least, he can walk on a high note off an overall good spring, almost no matter what his final 2 starts present.

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