Two Phillies signings:
Jamie Moyer was a nice story last year, recording his lowest FIP since 2003, when he was 40 years old, and seeing his strikeout rates sit above career average for the second consecutive season. Moyer also saw his lowest HR/FB% under his career total. Not much else changed, a slight bump in O-Swing%, and that’s it. Moyer’s almost certain to pitch worse than last year.
The bigger issue here is the length and money to a 46-year-old starting pitcher. The Phillies have a 26-year-old prospect named J.A. Happ who pitched well in limited exposure last season. Happ’s minor league numbers suggest he would be able to at least replicate Moyer’s 2007 or 2006 FIP, if not his 2008 totals. Happ is also going to cost the minimum, giving the champs some money to spend elsewhere if they wished. Signing Moyer seems pretty redundant and more of a signing for nostalgia (or in this case: championship) effect than anything, but we’ll see.
On we go to Chan Ho Park. I talked to Eric after rumors of the signing were coming out, and he informed me of the expectation of Park potentially competing for a rotation spot. Coincidentally that roster spot will go back to Moyer, and Park will land in the bullpen. Park reemerged on the scene last season after a brief stint with the Mets in 2007 and pitched decently; a 4.37 FIP in 95.3 innings. Park still found a way to give up more than a homerun per nine, despite spending his time in the spacious Dodgers Stadium, and a 78.2% strand rate (sure to regress) made his ERA look prettier than it is.
Interestingly, Park found a few extra notches on his fastball last season. Were as in the past Park’s fastball sat around 89, in 2008 his fastball was up to 93. Park’s slider also benefited from increased velocity, which raises the question: where did the velocity come from? Park didn’t face a ton of high leverage situations last season (1.01 pLI), which should be re-emulated by the Phillies. That leaves Park as a middle reliever, and just leaves you wondering if the Phils could’ve plugged in R.J. Swindle instead and expected similar results.
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