Monday, October 25, 2010

Jamie Moyer to Pitch in Winter League

ESPN's Enrique Rojas reported via Twitter that Jamie Moyer, now almost 48 years old, is planning on pitching in Winter Ball.  Perhaps I'm being a little obtuse, but maybe (just maybe) it's time for him to retire.  His season ended when he decided to have Tommy John surgery back in July.  While TJ surgery is a fairly routine these days, pitchers in their 20s only have an 85% chance of a full recovery.  Most pitchers take 12 months to recover, and then spend the next season trying to regain their pre-surgery velocity and command.  (Then there's the case of Francisco Liriano who took three full seasons to regain his pre-surgery form.)  Considering Moyer's advanced age (as evidenced by his most recent photo), the risk of recovery is significantly greater.  Over his previous two seasons, Moyer was worth a combined 0.8 WAR, which means that his true talent level is roughly equivalent to that of a replacement level player.  Clearly, this is not a good omen for Moyer who will need to scratch and claw for his next contract.

At this point, it seems that Moyer's attempt at winter ball is nothing more than a desperate attempt to prove he still has something left in the tank.  I have a ton of respect for the guy.  He's done more with less than just about any pitcher in recent memory.  He's defied the odds; bucked traditional scouting and modern statistical trends; and held off age related regression far longer than the average pitcher.  Sadly, his 25 year career has reached an end.  Everyone seems to have realized this but him.  It's time to hang up the spikes, Jamie.  While you're at it, if you could convince Brett Favre to do the same, we'd all greatly appreciate it.   

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