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Saturday, March 27, 2010
No. 5 Starter Watch: Phillies (and Moyer!)

Hey, I can't blame you for not caring about Sean Marshall and Tom Gorzelanny. I mean, unless you're a Cubs fan or a close relation. But I don't care who you are -- if you're breathing and you love baseball, you gotta care about the Phillies' fifth starter. From Matt Gelb:

Leaving aside the question of whether Moyer's more qualified for this job, at this moment, than Kyle Kendrick, it's worth mentioning (again) just how strange this whole thing is.

Moyer turned 47 last fall. There have been exactly three men in major league history who started a game after turning 47.

Phil Niekro, a knuckleballer, started 32 games in 1987, when he was 47 (and he started 26 more the next season).

Jack Quinn, an Austro-Hungarian-American spitballer, started one game in 1931, when he was 47.

Satchel Paige, a Methuselah, started one game in 1965, when he was 58.

And that's it, friends: 60 starts, with one knuckleball pitcher accounting for 58 of them.

I don't know which label we're going to stick on Jamie Moyer someday. He doesn't throw knuckleballs or spitballs, and he's neither Satchel Paige nor 58 years old.

In two of the last three seasons, Moyer's ERA was right around 5. In the other, it was 3.71 but he gave up an abnormally low amount home runs. I don't have any confidence at all in his ability to post an ERA this season close to the league average. I have a great deal of confidence in Moyer's ability to solidify his place among the more interesting pitchers we'll ever see.