There’s no question that the Philadelphia Phillies needed to address the pitching situation this past offseason.
The givens were Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin. Looking to bolster the back-end of the rotation, the Phillies added veterans Matt Moore and Chase Anderson.
Questions loom as to what type of contributions those two will make this coming season. We take a look at nine-year veteran Moore, specifically.
Predicting how Matt Moore will fare in his first season with the Phillies
Moore’s first full season in the majors was in 2012 where he went 11-11 with a 3.81 ERA in 31 starts with the Rays. He elevated to All-Star status the next season after a 17-4 record and a 3.29 ERA. Moore appeared to be on his way to being a star to years to come, before tearing a ligament in his left elbow in 2014. Tommy John surgery ended his season and much of his effectiveness moving forward.
After a 5.43 ERA in 12 starts in 2015, Moore was able to start 34 games in 2016. He finished with a solid 11-11 record and 4.08 ERA but wasn’t nearly as dominant as his pre-injury 2013 campaign. From 2017 through 2019, Moore was a shell of his former self, compiling a record of 9-23 with an ERA of 5.78.
Moore pitched in Japan last season and pitched seven no-hit innings in the Japan Series for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. He finished the season with an ERA of 2.65. The Phillies signed him at a relatively low salary of $3 million for one season. What can the Phillies expect from the 31-year old veteran?
One thing Moore adds is a left-hander in the rotation. It’s extremely difficult to expect Moore to get back to the form he had eight years ago. Even something resembling the 2016 season would be a major win for the Phillies. It’s a good sign that Moore pitched to an ERA under three last season in Japan, albeit playing in what is widely considered Triple-A level baseball.
I would expect Moore to have some great games and some games where you wonder why the Phillies signed him. That is much the case with any back-of-the-rotation starter. A 10-win season would be excellent, but I think he comes up a bit short. Let’s call it an 8-10 record with an ERA between 4.50 and 5.00. Considering the price and what they got last year from Jake Arrieta in the same spot, that would be an upgrade. That’s all that anyone can hope for.