Oh D-Mo, Where Art Thou?
By Trevor Pedro
We've written extensively about Dylan Moore and his role on this team. Last season, he played seven positions, but Manager Scott Servais specifically said the 30-year-old super-utility man would slim down his portfolio, platooning with the veteran second baseman Kolton Wong and spelling Eugenio Suarez and J.P. Crawford. As many of you know, this team's depth is being tested, as Wong struggles (.111) and Tommy La Stella still needs to play in the field. I'd argue that Moore's return could have a domino effect on the roster and change the complexion of this team.
Dylan Moore Adds Value
Like him or not, Dylan Moore has a unique skill set. His career numbers on some advanced analytics tell an interesting story, and one like any other player on this team.
Career Analytics (Baseball Savant)
Batted Ball Profile
Pull - 36.3 Straight - 37.0 Oppo - 26.7
28.3 (Third on team)
What does this all mean? First, he uses the whole field, which is positive even with the shift restrictions. Think how much better J.P. Crawford is when he's sprayed the ball from line to line. Moore is the same type of player. Second, he's a line-drive hitter, which bodes well for the offense, as most players on the current roster have launch angles nearing 30%. The higher the launch angle, the more fly ball outs – especially in the Marine Layer at T-Mobile Park. Third, Dylan Moore doesn't barrel up many pitches, but they can travel when he does.
We've discussed what Moore provides to the team, but what does his return mean to the actual lineup?
Roster Construction and Lineup Ramifications
Servais pegged Dylan Moore for a valuable role, and the team has felt his absence. However, the most significant result of his slow return are the depth issues in the bottom third of the order. We'll see the veteran Tommy La Stella designated for assignment when Moore returns in about two weeks. La Stella hasn't played the field yet due to his nagging shoulder injury in spring training. But the real value in his return is the ability to sit a struggling Kolten Wong. Additionally, slotting more in the seven spot in the lineup provides depth, which is something this team needs to improve on.
We'll see more movement soon unless Cooper Hummel also digs his way out of an early-season slump. Obviously, Jerry Dipoto values what Moore brings to the table, as they locked him up on a three year extension this offseason. Either way, D-Mo is returning in the next two weeks, and I'm sure Servais is ready to pencil him into the lineup.