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Jamie Moyer helps his comeback cause with two strong innings

Mar 7, 2012, 9:32 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies Jamie Moyer

Jamie Moyer helped himself nicely in his attempt to make the Colorado Rockies rotation out of spring training on Wednesday, breezing through two scoreless innings.

Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports that his fastball topped out at 82 mph and that he kept the Giants hitters off-balance, allowing just one hit and throwing only 22 pitches. All in all, for those who have watched the veteran left-hander over the years, it was a pretty typical Moyer outing.

“I was happy with how things went, I threw for strikes and got some groundballs,” Moyer said. “I will continue to push … I believe I have a long way to go yet. I want to prove something to this team, to make this team. I don’t think I can dwell too much on this one outing.”

That’s a good sign for the 49-year-old, who is attempting to return to the majors after missing the entire 2011 season due to Tommy John surgery. Jhoulys Chacin, Jeremy Guthrie and Drew Pomeranz likely have rotation spots locked up, and Juan Nicasio, who is recovering from a broken neck, has looked great so far this spring. That leaves Moyer to compete with Guillermo Moscoso, Alex White, Tyler Chatwood and possibly Josh Outman for the final rotation spot. And don’t forget, Jorge De La Rosa is expected back from injury perhaps as early as July.

The competition is fierce, but don’t bet against Moyer. I spoke with him in Scottsdale this spring and he is as determined as ever, saying “I don’t think I’d be standing here if I didn’t think I could play.”

It’s a pretty remarkable story, and you can read all about it here, but here are a couple tidbits:

    • Moyer is a Pennsylvania native and he considers the World Series title with the Phillies in 2008 among his favorite career moments. When the Phillies won the title in 1980, he cut high school to attend the parade, then in 2008, he was in the parade. Pretty cool.
    • The Moyers have eight children. Dillon, a sophomore at UC-Irvine, and Hutton, a high school senior, are infielders who will both be eligible for the 2012 draft, so there could potentially be three Moyers in pro ball.
    • His three favorite teammates? Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr., and Andre Dawson. All Hall of Famers who he “put on a pedestal,” for the examples they set on and off the field.

There’s much more, so check it out.

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  1. ptfu - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    I hope Moyer’s just as good against major league lineups.

  2. racksie - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    This guy is a man. Anyone who goes to the mound in the majors with an 80+ mph fastball, like he has done practically his whole 26 year career, is a man. Guy’s who waste their 90+ mph talent because they got paid, are boy’s who need to grow up.

  3. uraccepted - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    In an age of whiners and complainers, Moyer is a 100% class act. I’d love to see him make the rotation! If you don’t like this guy . . . you don’t like baseball.

  4. pkswally024 - Mar 7, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    I’m really pulling for Moyer. As a Phills I’d be ecstatic if he faces us this year and murders our lineup. I don’t know why…

  5. bigleagues - Mar 7, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Dude just loves playing the game. Only reason to go out there at 49 after TJS.

    Wait 82?! Woo-hoo! It’s NOT too late after all!

    Shit, I still got time to run off a nice 8-10 year career!

  6. bigleagues - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Jamie Moyer was a rookie when the Mets last won the World Series.

    Moyer is playing in his FOURTH decade.

    Moyer turned 40 . . . in 2002!

    Moyer was drafted NINE years before the Rockies were a MLB team!

    Moyer has a longer MLB career than FOUR organizations: the D-Backs, Rays, Marlins and Rockies.

    Roberto Alomar and Barry Larkin, debuted as rookies, played stellar careers, retired, then qualified for and granted induction into the Hall of Fame since Jamie Moyer’s rookie debut.

    Moyer’s first 20-win season came at age 38 and his second and last at age 40.

    He’s accumulated 103 Wins since turning age 40.

    Finally . . . and still one my favorite ex-Red Sox factoids: Boston had signed Jamie Moyer as a Free Agent in 1996, and despite a 7-1 record through 21 appearances, the Sox traded the then 33-year-old journeyman to Seattle for Darren Bragg. Moyer has won 201 games since. Meanwhile, Bragg would be sent out of Boston by 1998 and retired from a rather unremarkable career by 2004.

    • cur68 - Mar 8, 2012 at 1:21 AM

      Never bet against Moyer. He is Julio Franco’s current mojo holder.

      • Old Gator - Mar 8, 2012 at 8:34 AM

        Probably went down to the crossroads and made hisself the same deal. That’s all well and good now, but the winter league awaits, so to speak….

    • bravojawja - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      Moyer’s first 20-win season came at age 38 and his second and last at age 40.

      You mean “second and last so far,” right?

      • bigleagues - Mar 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        Yeah, right! Can’t bet against this hardball grand wizard! Although he would be the oldest to ever do it.

  7. bigleagues - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    I went ahead and did it . . . had to do it . . . here is the list of SP’s with at least 100 Wins from age 40 on . . .

                                                                                                                   
    Rk        Player     IP   W   L From   To   Age   G  GS CG SHO W-L%    H  ER  BB   SO  ERA ERA+              Tm
    1    Phil Niekro 1977.0 121 103 1979 1987 40-48 300 294 62  11 .540 1950 843 789 1148 3.84  103 ATL-NYY-CLE-TOT
    2    Jamie Moyer 1497.2 103  79 2003 2010 40-47 247 241  8   2 .566 1570 732 423  877 4.40   99     SEA-TOT-PHI
    

    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool UsedGenerated 3/8/2012.

    There are only 48 P in MLB history to have won 20 games or more after age of 40.

    Just 24 have won at least 30 after 40.

    Only 17 have won at least 40 after 40.

    12 have won at least 50 after 40

    and only 5 have won at least 75 Wins after 40.

    But just two . . . with at least 100 Wins after age 40 . . .

    Phil Niekro & Jamie ‘friggin’ Moyer

    • bigleagues - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:46 AM

      BTW, pretty sure that Jamie ‘friggin’ Moyer is the only Active Major Leaguer to have been in the Majors in Phil Niekro’s final season, 1987, at Age 48

    • bigleagues - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:52 AM

      Noy sure which is more amazing by Niekro, the post-40 121 Wins or the post-40 62 COMPLETE GAMES

  8. aceshigh11 - Mar 8, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    This is such an awesome story…I really hope he gets to pitch this year.

    I wonder what it take for him to be considered HoF-worthy. I realize his numbers aren’t there, but at SOME point, doesn’t longevity become worthy of recognition?

    Perhaps if he pitches at 50 years old?

    • ptfu - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:33 AM

      Pitching at 50 might make Moyer an exhibit at the Hall. I think wins are his best, albeit slim, chance for induction. Moyer’s 33 wins away from “forcing” consideration (many HOF voters consider 300 wins to be a “sacred” number).

      That’s 3-4 years of starting full time which would make him *gulp* 52 or 53 at the end. This assumes continued health, effectiveness, and the willingness of a team to sign him and keep sending him out there. Yeah, that’s a lot of ifs.

      But really, it’s all moot. If Jamie Moyer somehow wins 33 more games, and HOF voters put him in, the Earth will implode from collective sabermetric outrage.

  9. aceshigh11 - Mar 8, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    This is such an awesome story…I really hope he gets to pitch this year.

    I wonder what it will take for him to be considered HoF-worthy. I realize his numbers aren’t there, but at SOME point, doesn’t longevity become worthy of recognition?

    Perhaps if he pitches at 50 years old?

  10. Old Gator - Mar 8, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    I don’t doubt that Satchel Paige, whichever way he went – heaven or the more interesting place – is grinning ear to ear at the Jamie Moyer saga.

  11. badmamainphilliesjamas - Mar 8, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Long live craftiness!

  12. diehardcubbiefan4life - Mar 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Long live Jamie Moyer. If he doesn’t get into the Hall Of Fame, he’s always in the Hall of Awesome in my book.

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