Glancing around the other AL West teams, it’s easy to see the heavy lefty power bats. Shohei Ohtani, Corey Seager, and noted Mariner killer, Yordan Alvarez. Erik Swanson played a vital role for the Los Bomberos because he was more dominant against lefties than righties. Unfortunately, Swanson’s splitter is now in Toronto, which means President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto and General Manager, Justin Hollander should turn to a high-leverage lefty to slide into the pen, Matt Moore.
Moore could add a different element to the Mariners pen
Matt Moore was a highly rated prospect drafted as a starter in 2007 by the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays. That is how long he’s been in the game. The thirty-three-year-old reliever brings a three-pitch mix that includes a fastball, curveball, and changeup. The curveball is Moore’s outpitch, but the change is the dominant offering we’ll focus on here.
The changeup gets whiff rates around 45%, but the exciting thing is Moore only threw the pitch 16% of the time in 2022. So Moore’s recipe for success is getting ahead with a mid 90’s fastball, flashing the curve to make hitters think, and then finishing them off with the change.
If you look at the current construct of the Los Bomberos, you’ll see a slider-heavy group that consists of Andres Munoz, Diego Castillo, Matt Brash, Paul Sewald, and Penn Murfee. Yes, each reliever throws differently shaped slide pieces, but they are all using that pitch to get out. Adding a veteran lefty with a different repertoire would give AL West foes something else to think about in the later innings.
The Mariners should sign Matt Moore to a 2/$8M contract.
The bullpen is the main strength of this Mariner team, even with Swanson North of the Border. Matt Moore had a dominant 2022 racking up a 1.95 ERA and 83 strikeouts over 73 innings. The stats alone mirror the hole in the pen. I’ve never been the type to advocate for a cursory move based on recency bias, but playoff Alvarez means we need to make an area of strength even more potent. The time is now to add ‘Moore’ to the Los Bomberos.