Moyer Makes His Case

moyer 0321.jpgLike the rest of us, Jamie Moyer does not know how the Phillies will pick their fifth starter.

But he made a strong case for himself today at Bright House Field. He allowed five hits and one run and struck out six in five innings in a 5-4 loss to the Orioles. It was Moyer’s first Grapefruit League appearance after making three starts in B games. In a combined 14 innings, he has allowed six earned runs for a 3.86 ERA. Kyle Kendrick, his sole competitor for the job, has allowed two runs in 14 innings in four Grapefruit League appearances for a 1.29 ERA.

The Phillies said a few weeks ago that Moyer had the edge over Kendrick because of his experience.

Still true?

“I think they’ve both got two more starts,” Charlie Manuel said. “I think it’ll play out. I think we’ll do what’s best for our club and everything. I like how Kendrick has improved, but at the same time Jamie’s healthy and in the next couple starts we’ll see where he’s at.”

“Basically it’s what’s best for us and how we line up as a team,” Rich Dubee said.

If Moyer pitches well in his next two starts and Kendrick struggles, Moyer gets the job. If Kendrick finishes the spring with a 1.29 ERA and Moyer finishes the spring with a 3.86 ERA, I’ve got to think Moyer still gets the job. If Moyer struggles and Kendrick pitches well Kendrick has the edge.

And if Moyer struggles in the rotation once the season starts, Kendrick could be this year’s J.A. Happ and take his place. But it makes some baseball sense to start Moyer in the rotation: 1) Moyer is better suited for the rotation than the bullpen; 2) This gives him a chance to prove himself; 3) If he struggles and returns to the bullpen the Phillies can say they gave him a fair shot.

The edge: Moyer


Dubee said Cole Hamels, who was scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game, would pitch tomorrow against the Yankees. Joe Blanton, who originally had been scheduled to pitch tomorrow, will pitch Tuesday. … Dubee also said Brad Lidge will pitch in a Minor League game tomorrow and J.C. Romero will pitch in a simulated game Tuesday.


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The strikeouts from Moyer are encouraging. As good as Kendrick’s spring has been superficially, that it’s been light on the strikeouts and groundballs doesn’t really bode well. The fifth spot is not likely to be any day at the beach anyway, so Moyer on a short, short leash really isn’t the worst thing in the world to start the year, in a rotation with Doc and Hamels at the top.

Kendrick 1.29 ERA, $500,000.00 salary.
Moyer 3.86 ERA, $8,000,000.00 salary. Edge Moyer.

phan: The salary argument will be made but isn’t valid. Baseball salaries are guaranteed, so both will make what they make regardless, so why not put the best player on the field?

Because the 5th starter spot is really not a big deal, so it doesn’t hurt to give 2 starts to a guy to see if you can at least recoup some value for that money.

The salary argument should not be valid, true. But in this PERCEPTION is reality world the GM looks a bit foolish if he paid a 47yo pitcher $8 mil per year to sit in the bullpen . Baseball is unfortunately NOT as simple as to say the Best players should play. It’s a sport but ALSO a business. That being said, I’m Hoping that Kendrick wins the 5th starter’s job , for the sake of the rotation. I’m very concerned that Herndon, who looks like THIS year’s Chad Durbin find, will likely be gone when Lidge and Romero return from injury just because Moyer and his $ 8 million contract are occupying a much needed roster spot.

phylan: The real “Value” is the guy earning less than a half million dollars a year (Kendrick). In order to earn his $8 million, Moyer will have to have another big year.
The reason Kendrick doesn’t make much money is because he has no ML years of service. Otherwise, the dollars would matter. Until Kendrick’s service time grows, his salary will always be less than a veteran pitcher regardless of age. That’s why the salary argument isn’t valid. They aren’t on an equal plane.

If the salary argument is so substantial, then why not open up the catcher’s job too? Schneider is only making $900,000 less than Ruiz, so by that logic, the job should be an open competition, right?

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