Didn’t get a chance to chime in yesterday on the news that Jamie Moyer had elected for free agency – along with Greg Dobbs – and would be gunning for a chance to pitch as a 48-year old next season. That likely won’t happen in Philadelphia, unless he wants to take a minor league deal and attempt to beat out the likes of Kyle Kendrick, Vance Worley, and others for the fifth starter spot.
Moyer will certainly be missed as both a pitcher and mentor should his tenure in Philly come to close for good. In five seasons with the Phillies, Moyer accumulated 56 wins and 40 losses despite an ERA in the mid-fours. His numbers were aided by a powerful offense for much of his time here, however, the dude was a gamer and for pitching well into his 40’s, there’s not much bad you can say about him.
The one gripe anyone may have with Moyer was the way he handled his demotion to the bullpen late in 2009. He appeared sullen in a newfound role, but complained little and tried to produce when called upon. Moyer is clearly a passionate performer but during that time his game was not suitable for the rotation.
In 2010, he came back and was relatively outstanding early on before another injury derailed his season. He finished the 2010 year with a 9-9 record and a 4.84 ERA – numbers that don’t really scream fifth starter material.
In any case, Moyer will rehab his elbow injury by pitching in the Dominican League this winter, seemingly uncharted territory for a man who has made a lot of money for a lot of years. His passion is to continue pitching until no one wants him or he can no longer do so – his love of the game cannot be questioned. And when we questioned his ability following the 2008 title year (many said he should hang the cleats up then), Moyer came out and won 21 more games. You can tell me until you’re blue in the face that wins are overrated, but that’s still a remarkable feat at that age.
His calling will pitching coach once he decides to retire – that’s a given. For now though, Moyer will give it another try in Benjamin Button-like fashion. He’ll have to think and act like a rookie again at the ripe old age of 47 (he turns 48 next month). The odds are against him, but they have been for some time. Will we see him in a Phillies uniform again? Unlikely. Still, wherever Moyer ends up, it was a hell of a ride here in Philadelphia.