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Philadelphia Phillies To Utilize Jamie Moyer As Long Reliever

PHOENIX - JULY 28:  Pitcher Jamie Moyer#50 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on from the dugout during the major league baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 28, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 4-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
C KSenior Analyst IAugust 11, 2009

The Philadelphia Phillies announced Monday that Jamie Moyer will make the transition to the bullpen due to the arrival of Pedro Martinez.

Speculation on whether the Phillies would load themselves with a six-man rotation, send Moyer to the DL, or move J.A. Happ to the bullpen has been put to rest.

The least popular choice amongst fans, as it turns out, is the actual outcome.

While moving the 46-year-old Moyer to the bullpen had been mentioned, the naysayers argued that he doesn't belong there, especially because of his age.

A reliever is required to have the ability to pitch more often, which is something Moyer may have trouble with. Although he will primarily be used in the long relief role, entering games twice in five days rather than just once will be a more difficult task for him.

The left-handed Moyer, whose 10 wins and 5.47 ERA rank first and last in the rotation, respectively, is most effective in the first few innings of his starts. Now that he will be used for two to three innings at a time, his effectiveness may improve.

This may be the only positive I see from the entire situation.

I simply can't envision Jamie Moyer as a long relief pitcher. The majority of his tosses top out around 79 mph, which can be costly in this particular role.

A better solution, in my point of view, would have involved moving Moyer to the 15-day DL.

Here's why:

 

1. Pedro Martinez has the opportunity to showcase his talents, while Moyer's role isn't affected during that time.

As of now, Moyer's role on the team completely changes. He is no longer a starting pitcher. Transitioning back to that role could be difficult.

If Pedro Martinez doesn't work out, you would have the ability to move him to the bullpen when Moyer returns. Martinez makes more sense as a reliever, and he likely wouldn't object (he has stated he just wants to contribute).

Even a six-man rotation would remain a possibility if he were sent to the DL. Now, there isn't much of a chance that could occur due to the switching of his roles.

 

2. Moyer is able to rest and possibly work on straightening out his problems.

The oldest active player in the major leagues requires time off eventually. If he continued to start every fifth day, his velocity and control would slowly decrease.

With his DL-stint would come some down-time in which he could tweak the weaker points of his game. Now that he has been moved to the bullpen, he won't have much time to tweak anything. He'll be pitching more often.

 

3. Moyer wasn't even pitching all that bad...sort of.

Let's face it; Cole Hamels hasn't been all that better than Moyer recently. Leaving the more likely possibility of a return to the rotation for Moyer wouldn't have been such a bad thing. His ERA is a dismal 5.47, which ranks second to last amongst eligible starting pitchers, but he has been decent.

His inconsistency was concerning, but some rest may have been able to improve that.

I suppose that having a much needed arm in the bullpen is a logical decision. Charlie Manuel usually knows his players, and he knows when to push them.

There aren't many players on the roster that could handle a switch as late in their career as well as Moyer has, which helps the transition feel smoother.

I'll continue to disagree with the decision that was made, but I trust Manuel and the moves he makes. He has proved himself worthy of that.

At least J.A. Happ is staying in the rotation. Now that really would've been a total mess up.

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