Thursday, January 19, 2012
Moyer looks to make history in Colorado
By Justin Ray and Doug Kern
**This post has been updated since its original post to correct the list of oldest pitchers to win a major league game in the regular season. Jack Quinn is the only pitcher to win a game after his 49th birthday and when the season begins, Moyer will be older than Quinn was at the time of his last MLB victory.**
Jamie Moyer signing with the Colorado Rockies didn't turn heads like the Albert Pujols or C.J. Wilson signings, but Moyer could make history with his new club this season.
Moyer is 49 years old, and if he wins a game this season, he’ll be the oldest pitcher in MLB history to win a regular season game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Only Jack Quinn has won a regular season game after his 49th birthday and he was 49 years and 70 days old. Moyer will be well past that age when this season begins.
Feel free to make the joke that Moyer is older than dirt, but the truth is he’s older than rocks. When the Rockies played their first game in 1993, Moyer had already pitched in 141 games and threw exactly 700 innings in his career. In Rockies franchise history, only six pitchers have reached the 700-inning mark.
You can’t blame the majority of current Rockies players for missing Moyer’s major-league debut on June 16, 1986 against the Philadelphia Phillies. That’s because 14 players on the Rockies current 40-man roster hadn’t even been born yet, 35 percent.
But for those players who missed Moyer’s debut, it was held at Wrigley Field, and we can safely assume it was a day game, because Wrigley wouldn’t add lights until more than two years later.
Moyer’s opposing pitcher that day? Steve Carlton, who made his debut in 1965, when Moyer himself was only two years old.
Moyer’s first opposing batter? Current Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
Moyer’s contract is a minor-league one, and the Rockies current triple-A team, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, wasn’t reincarnated in triple-A form until 1988.
Despite all the jokes, Moyer could have an impact in the major leagues this season. In 2010, Moyer’s WHIP was a 1.10, the second-lowest mark of his career, trailing only the 1.08 he put up in 2002.
In 2001 and 2003, when Moyer finished in the top five in AL Cy Young voting, his WHIP was higher both seasons.
Statistically speaking, 2010 was one of Moyer’s finest seasons in quite some time, as his rates of hits, walks, and strikeout-to-walk ratio were among the best of his career.
However, missing the 2011 season after having Tommy John Surgery could have a major effect on his comeback effort. As could pitching in Colorado, where in two career starts, he’s 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA.