Your Jamie Moyer Update 7/4/2012: Vegas is the Perfect Place to Discover You Can’t Win ‘em All

Last Thursday, Jamie Moyer made his debut for Triple-A Las Vegas and he notched a win.  Wins are huge, especially in Las Vegas, but let’s be honest. Moyer’s trip to the shadow of the “Strip” is a gamble for both the elder statesman of active baseballers and the Toronto Blue Jays.

At age 49, Moyer is still chasing the dream; the same one being chased by guys in his very own clubhouse…guys who odds-on may have father younger than Moyer. We all know the story…at 49 years old, he made the miraculous comeback from Tommy John surgery to become the oldest pitcher to ever win a game in the majors.  But the Rockies released him in May, then in June he requested his release from the Orioles system after they declined to call him up after three starts for Triple-A Norfolk.

Now, we may be at the end of the “Viva Las Vegas” chapter of the on-going Moyer saga. Moyer signed with the Blue Jays, and was subsequently assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas for what was essentially a two-game tryout to see if he can help the MASH unit formerly known as the Blue Jays’ injury-riddled rotation.

Thursday, Moyer notched his second career Pacific Coast League win and oddly enough, they both took place at  Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. His first was a rehab start for the Seattle Mariners in 1997, and his second was last Thursday.  While Moyer got the win, he wasn’t exactly what you would call “dominant,” allowing three runs over five innings. But he was also never really in trouble, and he kept his team in the game during his time on the mound.

But in his second hand at the Vegas pitching table, the cards were not so kind.  Last night, Moyer was shelled for seven runs over six innings, and he took a 7-3 loss at Reno.

Now, after the two-game “try-out,” the Blue Jays have a decision to make.  On one hand, Moyer is a veteran who has shown flashes of being an effective major-league pitcher during this tumultuous up-and-down season, and as previously mentioned, the Blue Jays staff looks like Omaha Beach the day after D-Day. On the other, they could cut a guy loose who has surrendered ten runs in his eight innings as a Vegas 51, and seven in his last two. Granted Moyer started strong, but he definitely dropped off in his last two innings last night, when Cole Gillespie’s three-run shot highlighted a four-run fifth, and Jake Elmore’s two-run single capped a three-run sixth.

Moyer has pitched in 696 major league games and 113 minor league games, but so far only three of those have been in the Pacific Coast League games.  The question is will Moyer rack up any more PCL time, is he headed north of the border, or will the Moyer saga be opening at a minor-league park near you? Moyer has a total of 56 minor league wins.  When Moyer was a minor leaguer coming up through the Chicago Cubs system, he played for Geneva and Pittsfield. Both teams no longer exist. Moyer reached the Triple-A Iowa Cubs in 1986. They still exist, albeit now in the Pacific Coast League as the American Association disbanded in 1998. The rest of Moyer’s minor league time came in the International League; at Rochester, Louisville, Toledo, and most recently at Norfolk.

The next question? Is there a pitching-desperate team out there who will grab up Moyer if Toronto sends him on his way? Minnesota…I’m looking at you…(wink, nudge). Let’s face it…I need the source of material.

Your Obilgatory Jamie Moyer Is Old Fact: In last night’s game, Moyer was older than both managers and all three umpires, and was 13 years older than his oldest teammate, infielder Chris Woodward.

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14 responses

  1. I bet you they call him “Crash” in the dugout.

    1. Would you rather be “Crash” or “Nuke.” Sadly, both would mean sack time with the overly-saggy Susan Sarandon.

  2. Matt Lawton, Hero to the AAC | Reply

    I’d rather spend some sack time with an overly saggy Susan Sarandon then be forced to watch the equivalent of yet another PGV quality pitcher join the Twins rotation.

    1. I’d rather let Moyer and Sarandon pitch rather than see anymore Nick F. Blakcburn. I hope he likes Rochester. Casey Fien? Cole De Vries? Who are these fucking guys? At least we know Scott Diamond was the guy who played “Screech” on Saved By The Bell.

  3. The only thing that could energize Phillies’ fans right now…the return of Jamie Moyer. Based on that pic above, IF no one picks him up by Elvis Week next month in Memphis he should head there for some awesome BBQ…and entry in the impersonator contests. C’mon, Toronto…”Don’t Be Cruel.”

  4. Matt Lawton, Hero to the AAC | Reply

    Let’s be clear – the biggest problem is the Twins staff is the exact 5 same goddamn guys. Big leaguers drool at 89-92mph around the strike zone. That is Blackburn’s, DeVries, Pavano’s, Baker’s, Duensing’s, Walters and Diamond’s “Strength”.

    That’s to say that all of their success comes from trying to produce weak contact, not trying to miss bats. The problem is, above average major leaguers don’t get themselves out. By definition, above average major leaguers whack the hell out of 89-92 around the plate.

    No one has a quality secondary pitch except for Liriano’s slider – which is actually his primary pitch as his fastball cannot be located to save his life right now.

    If you can sense the frustration of watching 162 games of “Here it comes near the plate at 89-92mph – hit it if you can!”. You can understand what it is to be a Twins fan right now.

    Attempting to win every night 10-8 is a ridiculous way to try and stay competitive. Unless Willingham and Plouffe continue to do their Jose Canseco (In his prime, minus the baserunning skills) impersonations on a nightly basis (Which is a whole ‘nother story) the Twins are doomed to constant mediocrity for the foreseeable future.

    There – 250 words on how Jamie moyer would just be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Barf.

    1. Valid points, but to be fair, any pitcher who sticks around the plate too much is going to get whacked. Take Tim Lincecum for example. True his velocity isn’t what it usually has been right now, but his K numbers are up and hes not walking as many guys. But he’s chucking woodfinders at a 6.00 ERA pace.

      Sometimes, you just gotta buy new deck chairs. Sometimes, you need to take your whole pitching staff (coaches included) and drop them off a bridge.

  5. Matt Lawton, Hero to the AAC | Reply

    And oh by the way – don’t get me started on Blackburn.

    Just so all of your readers (even non-Twins fans) can understand just how bad Bill Smith’s (our ex GM) talent evaluation/decision making was.

    They are currently paying Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Nick Blackburn a combined $9.5 Million (If you prorate Nishi’s signing bonus) per year to play in Rochester.

    My god, how bad do you have to be to be paid that much to NOT take up a 25 man roster spot?

    This is what the Star/Trib should do to Souhan. Pay him his full salary to go write for the UMD campus newspaper.

    1. Do they even have a Benihana in Rochester?

      And I will have you know…Jim Souhan is the finest writer ever produced by the Crayola 64-pak with built-in sharpener.

  6. Matt Lawton, Hero to the AAC | Reply

    No Benihana, but according to Urban Spoon…

    Not one – but two China Buffets!!!

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/55/600338/restaurant/Rochester/Southeast-Quadrant/China-Buffet-Henrietta

    How much have you seen Diamond? I keep waiting for the giant horseshoe firmly lodged in his butt cheeks to fall out soon. However, there is a surprising amount of “potential future ace!” buzz going around.

    Again, barf.

    1. You know that Diamond’s numbers look very Moyer-esque…he gives up a lot of hits, yet more often than not he wiggles off the hook. The difference is his strikeout-to-walk-ratio doesn’t suck. I agree with your assessment…he looks to me like a guy living on borrowed time.

      Care to compile a list of guys who were “potnetial future aces?” I’ll open the bidding with Rich Robertson.

  7. Matt Lawton, Hero to the AAC | Reply

    Minnesota only?

    Twins only in recent years: Francisco Liriano, Joe Mays, Scott Erickson, Allan Anderson, Scott Baker and LaTroy Hawkins.

    Am I missing any?

    1. Yes, you forgot Boof Bonser during the six-week love affair Twins fans had with him.

  8. Matt Lawton, Hero to the AAC | Reply

    Almost forgot Matt Garza – who to be fair once he was off the “Pitch to contact” regiment – did turn out to be a decidedly above average MLB starter

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