Friday, June 1, 2012

Contemplating Jamie Moyer

Jamie Moyer has 36 strikeouts. That
would rank second on the Twins staff.
Jamie Moyer had a 2-5 record and a 5.70 ERA when the Colorado Rockies decided that they could find more profitable ways to invest the roster spot, rotation berth and innings.

Denver is not a hospitable home for any pitcher, much less a 49-year-old who had difficulty breaking 80 mph with his best fastball. Moyer allowed 11 homers in 53.2 innings for the Rockies, which is a lot. Too many, even in the thin air.

Still, Moyer struck out 36 men — 6.0 per nine innings, a rate consistent with what he's done over the course of his long career. He might still be, in the right environment, a useful back-of-the-rotation arm.

The news Wednesday that Moyer had been designated for assignment by the Rockies led to immediate Twitter speculation by some Twins bloggers about whether he and Minnesota would be a fit.

I can't see it. Yes, Target Field is more forgiving than Coors Field, but Moyer would also be returning to the DH league, with its deeper lineups. More to the point, who would he displace from the rotation? The Twins have, at the moment, two pricey veterans (Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano) and three minimum wage guys (Scott Diamond, P.J. Walters and Cole DeVries), with another veteran (Nick Blackburn) nearly ready to return from the disabled list.

Pavano, Liriano and Blackburn aren't going anywhere, and Diamond and Walters shouldn't.

If Moyer gets to extend his career, it should be for a team in the National League that needs to win now and needs to fill a gap at the end of the rotation. The Twins are in the American League, rebuilding, with gaps at the front of the rotation.

That said, I must admit that I would be far more likely to make the trip to Minnesapolis to watch Moyer work than to see Blackburn.

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