Grading Dave Dombrowski’s First Phillies Offseason: the Starting Rotation
Phillies added Matt Moore to the rotation
Matt Moore is a different case than Chase Anderson. With Anderson, they were hoping more for a bounce-back season, but with Moore, they were hoping he could change the path of his MLB career.
Before 2021, Moore last pitched in the Majors in 2019, when he only made two starts, but didn’t allow a run over 10 innings and only walked one batter. The season before offered more of a look at his abilities, as he made 12 starts in 39 appearances; in 2018, he finished with a 6.79 ERA, a 5.25 FIP, and an ERA+ of 70.
That stat line was not at all what people thought Matt Moore was going to be. At one point in his Minor League career, Moore has ranked ahead of guys like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Moore was supposed to be an ace for years to come, and he has disappointed.
At the beginning of his career, it seemed like Moore would live up to his potential. In Moore’s first full season in 2021, he made 31 starts with 177.1 innings pitched, posting a 3.81 ERA and a 3.93 FIP for the Tampa Bay Rays. For a 23-year-old rookie pitcher, this was a good sign. In his second season, Moore only got better, with a 3.29 ERA and a 3.95 FIP in 27 starts.
But in 2015, things began to go the wrong way in his development. Moore only made 12 starts and finished with an ERA over 5. The Rays were hoping the 26-year-old pitcher would break out as a Cy Young candidate and establish himself as one of the best pitchers in the game, and intead, he fell apart.
In 2020, Moore went to Japan to get his career back on track. The Phillies bought into the new Moore and signed him to a $3M contract for the 2021 season.
Unfortunately, Moore has not shown anything new or improved, as he made just three starts for the Phillies before Vince Velasquez took his spot in the rotation. Moore has a 7.36 ERA and a 6.64 FIP in 18.1 innings pitched. This is another move Dave Dombrowski is probably regretting, as Moore has not been able to live up to the potential he once had.
Both of Dombrowski’s rotation additions have failed, and the Phillies have gone back to the guys slated to be in the rotation before the new guys were signed.
The Phillies pitching staff overall has a 4.08 ERA, which ranks 9th in the National League. They’ve given up the 10th-most hits in the league and the 11th-most home runs. The starting rotation (Wheeler, Nola, Eflin, Velasquez, and Anderson) has a combined 4.32 ERA; Wheeler‘s 2.15 ERA somewhat cushions the blow of Anderson’s 7.34.
So far, the news guys do not make the grade.