Jamie Moyer, SP (LHP)
2008: 196.1 IP / 16-7 / 3.71 ERA / 62 BB / 123 K / 0 CG / 1.33 WHIP
Summary: Still, nobody knows how Jamie Moyer did it in 2008. He quietly put together one of the top pitching seasons in the major leagues at age 46. He froze hitters with his changeup. He had hitters swinging early on his fastball. He dropped in a couple other pitches for good measure. It added up to a very successful campaign. It was his best season since his 21-win campaign in 2003. He held hitters to a .264 average — best since 2003. He let up just 0.92 homers per nine innings — best since 2003. He also left 76.6 percent of runners on base — you know, best since 2003.
Career Level: Descent (Year 5)
Green Flags: Moyer allowed less than 200 hits for the first time since 2003. … He is a workhorse, starting every game in 2008 and consistently starting more than 30 games every year since 2001 (only going under 30 once since 1997). … Moyer had a fine ground ball rate at 43.9 percent, his largest in a long time.
Red Flags: Scouring Moyer’s history since 2003 shows the 2008 season seems like an anomaly. … The innings are starting to decrease. … Interestingly, the fifth inning was by far Moyer’s best (opponents hitting .127 with a .335 OPS) while the sixth and seventh were horrendous (.855 OPS in sixth; .958 OPS in seventh). That indicates he’s five and done. … His walk rates remained high in 2008 at 2.84.
Prognostication: Moyer is a trick pony at this point in his career; he’s getting by on his limited arsenal, relying on hitters’ inexperience the first (and most times second) time around. The inning splits are telling — he’s good for five innings, crafting his game in hopes that guys swing quickly and often. And my guess is against more experienced hitters (who have now seen Moyer enough), he’ll be shelled harder in 2009. Don’t expect those 2008 numbers to return; if they do, the guy is the smartest ballplayer ever. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — I expect a shorter season for Moyer.
2009 Projection: 86.1 IP / 3-3 / 4.69 ERA / 30 BB / 43 K / 0 CG / 1.44 WHIP