Jamie Moyer's career isn't over, at least yet. The 49 year-old has signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles, and will start for AAA Norfolk on Saturday. Moyer spent time with the Orioles from 1993 to 1995, which was 17 years ago. That's right, he's going to a team he spent time with before many high school kids were born. This is surreal.
Moyer struggled this year for the Rockies, pitching to a 5.70 ERA in ten starts, striking out 36 and walking 18. This move seems strictly like a depth thing for the Orioles, who are going with a largely young and homegrown rotation, but what if he actually gets starts for them?
Baltimore has four starters of varying success, from the excellent Jason Hammel, to the unlucky Jake Arrieta (59% strand rate – ouch), to mildly successful import Wei-Yin Chen and rebounding youngster Brian Matusz. The fifth spot in the rotation was held by Tommy Hunter, who was terrible. Hunter's last start was on May 28th, and with a plethora of offdays over the next couple of weeks, the Orioles don't need a fifth starter until this Saturday against the Phillies. This is when Moyer is scheduled to start in Norfolk, so it doesn't appear that he'll be taking Hunter's spot in the rotation…yet.
The long-term option for the final spot in Baltimore's rotation is Zach Britton, currently rehabbing in Norfolk after a solid rookie season in Baltimore last year. Britton has made three rehab starts, and his last one came yesterday, when he went six innings and allowed four runs, striking out two and walking two. After the start, Britton was activated from the DL and will stay in Norfolk for now to regain strength in his arm.
At any rate, I don't see any way in which Moyer will be able to contribute to the Orioles positively this year. Do the Orioles brass realize that this team plays in the AL East, which has three of the top ten offenses in baseball? Moyer's 78 moh fastball will get torched against these offenses, if he even is able to make it to the majors.
Signing Moyer, just like Baltimore's signing of Miguel Tejada a couple of weeks ago, just seems like an ill-advised move for a team trying to compete for a division title this year. They've done it with mostly their young talent, so why bring in a washed up veteran under the guise of improving the team when the veterans can't add anything?
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