Colorado Rockies: Even at 49, Jamie Moyer Can Still Pitch

Michael DesjardinsCorrespondent IIApril 6, 2012

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Pitcher Jamie Moyer #50 of the Colorado Rockies poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 28, 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Jamie Moyer is 49 years old. He and shortstop Omar Vizquel are the only active players who debuted in the major leagues in the 1980s.

And yet, despite his advanced age, and the fact that he went through Tommy John surgery last season, the Colorado Rockies signed him to a minor league contract.

In Spring Training, he showed the age is merely a number. In five games (four starts), he allowed just five earned runs over 18 innings, and struck out 16 batters. His performance on the mound earned him the second spot in the Rockies' rotation.

Yes, Jamie Moyer is going to be the second man in the rotation. And he has the chance to become the oldest starting pitcher to ever win a regular season game.

But you know what? Entering his 25th season in the majors, Jamie Moyer can still pitch.

Moyer is not some old fogie who's embarrassing himself. As he gets closer and closer to turning 50, the man still is able to throw a baseball.

In 2010, he started 19 games, and went 9-9. He pitched two complete games, and in one of those, was able to throw a shutout.

He doesn't throw the fastest pitches in the world—his average fastball speed in 2011 was 80 MPH—but then when you think about it, maybe that helps him.

In 2008, at the age of 45, Jamie Moyer won 16 games for the Philadelphia Phillies, and won his first World Series. Four years later, and approaching 50, Moyer is still doing what he loves.
In 2008, at the age of 45, Jamie Moyer won 16 games for the Philadelphia Phillies, and won his first World Series. Four years later, and approaching 50, Moyer is still doing what he loves.William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

In this day and age, when you have pitchers throwing into the triple digits, Moyer's slow balls and pitching repertoire is a great way to fool opposing batters. Rather depending on speed, he depends more on changing the speed and location of his pitches, and that's why he's been able to stay in the game.

Moyer is so different from the Justin Verlanders and Aroldis Chapmans of the world, that it benefits him and his organization.

So, the question is, how much longer can Jamie Moyer still play in the majors? He's still effective on the mound, and he still expresses the desire to pitch. He also has experience as both a starter and long reliever, should he ever play on a team with a stacked pitching rotation.

Jamie has a son, Dillon, who was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 22nd round, in 2010. However, he decided to go to college, and is currently an infielder for the University of California, Irvine.

Should he get drafted again, would Jamie retire to help out his son develop into a big league player? Or if truly possible, would he continue pitching and one day see his son at the batter's box, staring him down? Imagine such a story happening.

What about if Moyer wants to get to 300 wins? He currently sits at 267 wins, and would need at the very least, two 16-win seasons to be able to reach it. Could he do it? Would he have enough opportunities from major league teams to be able to make it?

Personally, as long as he has the desire to pitch, I would like to see him continue into his 50s. It's like a baseball fairy tale that has come to life. Watching Jamie Moyer pitch is simply a sight to behold.