Former M's Part One: Jamie Moyer's Recent "Success"

Sure, Jamie Moyer doesn’t play for the Mariners anymore, but he’s been one of the most intriguing stories to me this year in baseball.  A 9-6 record, 4.30 ERA, and 6.5 innings-pitched-per-start ratio make for loads of happy (casual) fans from Philadelphia.  Moyer’s seemingly been on a tear as of late, including four starts of eight innings or more in his last nine, but has he really been that much better than last season?  SoDoMojo Insider takes you on an intrepid journey into the inner statistical workings of the man known as Jamie Moyer.

K/9

  • Jamie Moyer 2009: 5.22
  • Jamie Moyer 2010: 5.29
  • Conclusion: Moyer’s ability to miss bats remains poor, but has not gotten worse.

Batting Average on Balls in Play

  • Jamie Moyer 2009: .292
  • Jamie Moyer 2010: .235
  • Conclusion: The league average BABIP is usually around .290.  Moyer has been exceedingly lucky this season with respect to batted balls that don’t leave the park.

Groundball-to-Flyball Ratio

  • Jamie Moyer 2009: 1.03
  • Jamie Moyer 2010: 1.11
  • Conclusion: Moyer hasn’t gotten much better at inducing grounders.  He’s pretty much stayed the same.  Do you sense a pattern yet?

FIP/xFIP

  • Jamie Moyer 2009: 5.08/4.74
  • Jamie Moyer 2010: 4.89/4.63
  • Conclusion: This is a bit surprising.  Moyer’s actually been unlucky on flyballs leaving the park.  However, his luck (or lack thereof) hasn’t changed noticeably from last season.

Now bear in mind that Moyer allowed nine earned runs in a start that lasted a grand total of one inning earlier this year.  His numbers would look a hell of a lot better if you ignore that one start.  However, it did happen, and I’m not a fan of excluding a pitcher’s worst few outings when trying to determine his value.

It seems to me that Jamie Moyer has just gotten lucky more than he’s been unlucky.  [Note: do you realize that the word "lucky" is just "luck" with a -y suffix added? This is really bothering me.]  However, he’s on pace to be worth 1.4 wins above replacement, and that’s a hell of a lot better than Kyle Kendrick, who’s been worth 1.4 wins above a pile of dirt.  The only real change I’ve noticed is that Moyer seems to be locating his fastball (if you can call it a “fast” ball) and change-up slightly better, resulting in a wFB of 3.9 and wCH of 2.5, each of which is significantly better than the numbers he recorded last season in that department.

I have to admit: the guy’s 47 years old and he still manages to pitch fairly well in a hitter-friendly ballpark.  I hope he keeps pitching until he’s 57.

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Tags: Jamie Moyer Kyle Kendrick Phillies

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