2009 Year in Review

Year in Review: Jamie Moyer

Over the next few weeks, Phillies Nation will break down each player on the Phillies roster and grade their 2009 season on a very unofficial 1-10 scale.  The players will be chosen in no particular order.

http://blogs.mycentraljersey.com/mets/files/2008/12/moyer.jpgIt was this time a year ago when a quandary was born.  Give a 45-year old, soft-tossing lefty a two-year deal, or risk the idea of him walking and latching on somewhere else.  The Phillies chose the former, and are now dealing with what looks like a bit of a mistake.

In 2008, Jamie Moyer, now 46, led the Phillies in wins with 16 and his ERA sunk like a rock to uncharted depths for a man of his age; 3.71.  His ERA hadn’t been that low since 2003, the same season he won 21 games.  Could he do it again?

Didn’t work out that way in 2009.  Moyer finished with a team high 12 wins (tied with J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton) but his ERA was shade under five.  That ERA is somewhat misleading, as he lowered it late in the year as a spot starter and relief pitcher.  In the process, he allowed seven home runs more in ’09 than the previous season (20 to 27) and did so in 34 less innings.

Bullpen killer is the proper term to use here.  Moyer went seven or more innings just four times.  He gave up four or more earned runs in a game, count ‘em, 13 times.  Yeeesh.  Clearly, age caught up to the iron man, and fortunately for the Phillies, it did not harm them too badly. Sure, they will have to pay Moyer $6.5 million in 2010 as part of that two year, $13 million deal he signed this time last year.

You have to give Moyer props for what he has accomplished here.  Coming in as a trade deadline pick-up in 2006, it seemed as though the man would never age.  He started eight games that year, winning five of them.  In the process, his hometown was behind him, rooting on the native son.  The 2007 season didn’t go swimmingly, but he proved durable and won 14 games. His 2008 performance then pushed the Phillies into a hard decision.  They made the wrong one, but it was hard not to. Jamie Moyer proved his worth for so long, and it could be that the franchise felt they needed him around, not just as a fifth starter, but as a player-coach; one that could help the likes of Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ, and just about anyone that would listen.

In that regard, it’s hard to fault the Phils for the contract extension. Next season, however, Moyer could find himself in the unemployment line.  Is it the right move to see if he can get that mojo back? Or is it too late?

Moyer is clearly past his prime, and it’s unlikely he regains the magic of 2008.  He seemed unhappy in the bullpen, and there is a chance someone picks him up as a fifth starter, but for the Phillies, it doesn’t appear he fits very well into future plans beyond Spring Training.  Given the contract situation and his desire to continue to play, he deserves a shot in Clearwater.

If it is truly the end of the line for Moyer in Philly, it was a hell of a run, to say the least. Not many players get to play in the Major Leagues for a decade, let alone two.  They certainly don’t get to play until they’re 46; but Jamie Moyer has done it.  Will he do it for one more season here?  It’s unlikely, but you can never say never because Moyer is a bulldog.  As for 2009, I’m sure he’d rather forget it altogether.

2009 numbers: 30 games, 25 starts, 12-10, 4.90 ERA, 94 K/43 BB, 27 HR, 1.36 WHIP, .279 BAA

GRADE: 4/10: It was not a great year for Moyer as he struggled out of the gate.  He did well at times later in the year, mostly spot starting, however, when he does not hit his spots or get the edges of the plate, it tends to be a long game. Moyer had several of those in ’09.

Pat Gallen can be reached via email at Pat@Philliesnation.com



  1. dudley monk

    November 12, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    moyer still was tied for the team lead in wins. Yes, at times I thought he was going to be lit up like a gasoline-soaked torch. He has been shelled more times than a bag of pistacios, but he still deserves a chance to make this team. Few players are in that category. One does not win 260 games in the majors, last 20 years, with such soft pitches and uncommon gaul. Moyer, regardless of whether he makes the club, deservies a shot. He may surprise all of us and come to spring training with an effective knuckleball. Who knows?

  2. Keith E

    November 12, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Pat, how does a player receive a 40% rating when he won 50% of his starts? Makes no sense to me.
    GO PHILS!!!

  3. Keith E

    November 12, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    btw: I wouldn’t bring him back. Time to get younger with the starters.
    GO PHILS!!!

  4. Jeff of Nova

    November 12, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    bring him back as a coach

  5. Dice

    November 12, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Moyer deserves to be in the Phillies Rotation more so that Hamels (who deserves a trip to Rookie Ball)

  6. Manny

    November 12, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    4… slightly below average?

    I’d say more like a 2. Look at that nasty ERA… Sorry Jamie. I think he’ll back next year though as our 5th starter.

  7. Manny

    November 12, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    (ERA as a starter)

  8. George

    November 12, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    A pitcher who doesn’t throw seven or eight innings all the time is not going to have a particularly good ERA. Even the so-called “quality” start is only six innings and yields an ERA of 4.50. Moyer’s really wasn’t all that much higher, and was actually better than most of the Brewers’ staff.

    This is not to say Moyer pitched very well, just that he wasn’t as bad as some people want him to be. He deserves a shot, at least. He makes too much for a number five starter or a long reliever, but he’d be making way too much–almost as much as Adam Eaton made–if he’s released. And maybe he didn’t like the bullpen, but his performance in relief didn’t show it.

  9. George

    November 12, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    Another pitcher who wasn’t as bad as some people want him to be is Cole Hamels. Rookie ball?

  10. karen

    November 13, 2009 at 12:23 am

    There is definately something special about a guy who can get the much needed win in last year’s game 4, even when he was sick the night and day of game. Or his relief appearances when Pedro was knocked out of the game early due to rain. I think this is a guy who would be an excellent coach……he is a great resource

  11. Greg V.

    November 13, 2009 at 12:26 am

    4 is harsh. He struggled but found redemption. One of my favorite games of the year was when he threw 6 dazzling innings after one of many rain shortened Pedro starts. He also won the big 250 this year. I tend to agree that we should pursue other avenues for a starter but he definately deserves a chance to earn his job back against Kendrick and Drabeck I’m assuming.

  12. Zeromont

    November 13, 2009 at 1:28 am

    agreed, should become a coach.

  13. mikeB

    November 13, 2009 at 2:12 am

    The trouble with Moyer being a starter is is that the team is automatically handicapped by four or five runs with each of his starts, if his performance next year winds up being similar to this past season. You would think that this would be demoralizing to a team to go out there each game that Moyer starts and right off the bat find yourself behind four or five runs, some of the times even before you get up to bat in the first inning. Jamie is a great guy and humanitarian and I would have no problem with them keeping him on for another year but I would not offer him the fifth starting pitcher slot. Would use him as a pitcher-coach, spot starter and long relief. Promising him the fifth slot would be a hindrance to younger pitching talent.

  14. nowheels please

    November 13, 2009 at 5:27 am

    With all his years maybe Moyer has experimented with a knuckleball,that seems to be the only hope.
    As far as a coach goes, god knows something is wrong Dubee sits while Charlie let Pedro go 130 pitches? No matter what dumb thing Charlie does pitching wise Dubee doesn’t seem to react. The worse mistake of the year was the first no leaving
    Hamels in Florida for a couple weeks and sorting out the starter
    while Hamels gained strength and to top it off by putting Hamels in a cold exhibition game. Something is wrong there.
    Is it Charlie or Dubee?? With Moyer to turn to the young pitchers had no help. Moyer for pitching coach yeah.

  15. bfo_33

    November 13, 2009 at 7:02 am

    It’s hard to argue with the numbers, and I think the Phils need to get younger, but also think there is value in keeping him in the pen as an long reliever/extra starter. The money’s spent, and are you really keeping that 11th pitching slot for someone who is going to add more value then Moyer? I’d give him a 3 in the first half, 6 in the second. Not a big fan of Dubee, think Moyer is an excellent mentor, and would make a great pitching coach (although they usually make a tad less than $6.5M).

  16. George

    November 13, 2009 at 7:43 am

    The problem with Moyer this year was not the team finding themselves four or five behind at the start. The problem with Moyer was that he could give up runs in an unpredictable manner. He could sail along through three or four innings, then suddenly give up five runs. On the other hand, there were times when he’d give up a few runs early, then settle in for the rest of the outing. You can’t tell what’s happening when none of his pitches can break a pane of glass. One badly located pitch from Moyer is a disaster, whereas one from a fireballer may still not be hit well.

    I doubt he’s a lock for fifth starter at this point, but with his salary he’ll likely be some part of the staff. All this, of course, is assuming he returns 100% from his surgery.

  17. Pat Gallen

    November 13, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I didnt want to be rude and give him a 2. That’s showing little respect for the guy who has done so much in his career and in his short time here. I thought a 4 was proper.

  18. Don M

    November 13, 2009 at 10:59 am

    kinda funny that Jamie Moyer lead the team in WINS again this year…

    Does this finally prove to everyone that WINS for a pitcher are the least important stat line????

    To all the people crying that Hamels had “a losing record” …. WINS are nice to have, but its a team-stat … not an individual pitching state, like ERA or WHIP


  19. George

    November 13, 2009 at 11:59 am

    What’s up here? I posted one item only once, yet it appears twice.

    Wins average out. Sometimes a pitcher is bailed out by his offense, sometimes a great performance is wasted by zero runs scored for that pitcher, or by a bullpen meltdown. Moyer lived through both this year, as did others on the staff. To me, 12 wins is 12 wins. Some are legit, some aren’t.

    I think the real problem people have with Moyer is that he made too much money for his performance this year. He did as well as most fifth starters, but he was being paid like he was close to an ace. Sure, he was horrible at times. So were lots and lots of other pitchers. Blanton was abominable the first month. Lee had a stretch of terrible starts after his first few superb ones. Hamels had problems throughout the season.

    It’s not Moyer’s fault the front office gave him so much money. He’s a fifth starter, people, and as a fifth starter he did pretty much as I’d expect.

  20. The Original Chuck P

    November 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I’m a Moyer supporter… so many people bash him because he’s old and doesn’t throw hard. I say, “So what?” The guy legitimately won 12 games… if you look at the game logs, there are only two games that he won which he should not have won. Yes, winning is a team stat but Moyer put our team in the position to win games. He wasn’t great but he wasn’t terrible as a 5th starter. Fourteen appearances of 6 ip and 4 ER or less… I would say that his sub 5 ERA is not misleading… the only reason it’s “misleading” is because you feel like it should be higher.

    Ruben made the right move by going out and getting Pedro Martinez; they needed a spark heading into the postseason but Jamie was serviceable during the regular season.

    I’m not sure if he’ll be able to give us anything next year but he’s going to try, that’s for sure. Hopefully, he finds the wizardry that he manufactured in 2008. If he does not rebound from this surgery, I hope that he is true to himself and his team… hang em up.

  21. Dave

    November 13, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    I’d say a 4 was a fair rating, given that Blanton wasn’t even given a 6 and he was downright nasty for a good potion of the season.

  22. BDPhils

    November 13, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Good article, although I think 4 is a little harsh.

    The W-L stat is not really relevant as far as I’m concerned, although others would disagree.

    Moyer deserves a shot in Clearwater, although if he pitches like he did is Spring Training last year I can’t see him making the roster. It took him a little while to get going in the regular season if I remember correctly.

    Either way, it was great to have him in Philly. Who knows, maybe he brings back the magic for one more year!

  23. Georgie

    November 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I probably would give him a 5 because for the most part , he did what he was asked to do, especially after moving to the pen. He bailed us out a couple of times late in the season, and although I won’t argue with a 4, I’d give him a 5, if just for the fact that I’m a member of the Jamie Moyer fanclub on fb.

  24. Pat Gallen

    November 13, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Now that I think of it, I guess I regret not giving Joe a bit of a higher tally. Maybe 6.1. Let’s call it 6.1 for Big Joe!

  25. Tracey

    November 17, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I like Moyer a lot, and he certainly deserves a chance in Clearwater, but it remains to be seen whether he’s still got it. I didn’t think he was bad this year, certainly not when compared to the disappointment of Hamels and Lidge, but I know I’m in the minority. I definitely like the idea of him as a coach, though, because he so clearly enjoys giving the younger pitchers advice, and he seems to be good at it.

  26. Brian of CO

    November 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Pat you “didnt want to be rude and give him a 2. That’s showing little respect for the guy who has done so much in his career and in his short time here. I thought a 4 was proper.” Hmm, now I am VERY interested to see what you will give Princess (Hamels). Everyone on here knows you were overly critical of the 5th (FIFTH) starter in 2009, and barely critical at all of the pitcher who was supposed to be our ACE! I mean Blanton was one of the most consistent starters, and you gave him a 5.8 out of 10 (4.05 ERA with a 12-8 record, giving up 4 or more runs in 9 games) I can only imagine what you will give Hamels. I am sure you will give Hamels above a 5 because everyone knows he is your favorite, but really, if Hamels gets anything above a 4, you need to check you math. Considering Hamels ended with a 10-11 record, giving up 4 or more runs in 13 “count ‘em, 13 times. Yeeesh. ” thats the same number as Moyer, and Hamels had only 7 more starts, with only 31.2 more innings than Moyer. Is that to say Moyer had a good year, NO. However, the point it, you are looking at a #5 starter who had SIMILAR stats (only slightly worse) than who was supposed to be the ACE. I think you need to look at position in the rotation. I dont think a 4 is far off, I think a 5 is more fitting considering he was supposed to be that 5th starter, I think I probably would have given Blanton a solid 6 instead of short changing him, and when Hamels comes up considering he was supposed to be the Ace, I would give him a 3. You assessment of giving Moyer only a 2, but giving him a 4 because you wanted to show “respect” was completely off.

    • Pat Gallen

      November 21, 2009 at 1:07 pm

      Brian, I will be critical of Hamels, believe me. You’re right I was overcritical of Blanton, I said in another post he desereved a little better, although he was VERY good for 2 months, and average or below average the rest of the time.

      I’m not sure I follow why Moyers “4” was completely off. He deserved a grade a little lower, but you have to look at it as, he’s not expected to be a 16 game winner. He’s an average pitcher, and he pitched below what his “average” should be. I thought a 4 was proper. Maybe a 3.5 for Moyer.

  27. Brian of CO

    November 21, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Pat, I saw the next post about giving Blanton a 6.1 after I posted that, my bad. I agree that Moyer is supposed to an “average” pitcher. My point was not to say Moyer had a good or great year, but personall I think between a 4 or 5 is about right. I dont thing 4 is too far off. My point is more curiousity of Hamels. I have been one of the VERY few who was critical of Hamels, and didnt give him a free pass. Like another said, he wasnt too far off when he should have been, unlike Hamels and Lidge. Moyer is supposed to be an average pitcher, and we wasnt to far off of being average. Hamels is supposed to be an ace, and he was FAR worse. Lidge was supposed to be a premier closer (not expected to be perfect again, but not a 7+ ERA) and he beyond bad. I am curious of those two rankings. All I was saying is what you just pointed out. You have to look at things and what they are expected to be. Moyer was expected to be an average pitcher, he was slightly below average overall. Blanton was supposed to be average, and just as you changed it, it was above average, Hamels was supposed to be an Ace, or WELL above average, and we was below average, Lidge…Nuff said. Personally, and I know Hamels and Lidge arent out yet, but I would rank them as Blanton 6.1 exactly as you said, Moyer closer about 4.5, not too far off, Hamels 3 to 3.5 and Lidge about 2. I wasnt saying you were far off. The only one I thought was pretty far off was the comment about giving him a 2 but bumping it to 4 for respect. LOL.

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