Jamie Moyer has been designated for assignment. This, you already know. And you are perhaps assuming that Coors Field was the culprit. It was an experiment to have the all-time leader in home runs allowed pitch in a home-run haven, and you're thinking the experiment failed.
There's where you'd be wrong, because Moyer actually pitched pretty well in Coors Field. He made five starts there and five on the road; here are his splits:
Home: 29 IP, 3.72 ERA, three HR allowed
Road: 24⅔ IP, 8.03 ERA, eight HR allowed
That's entirely backward from what you might expect. And the 11 overall homers he gave up is not the most in baseball, either; he's tied with the Reds' Mat Latos and has allowed two fewer than the Braves' Mike Minor. Except for his WHIP, Moyer has better numbers than either of those pitchers -- both of whom were expected to be solid rotation starters this year -- and his walk-to-strikeout ratio betters both of them.
Further, there are seven starting pitchers with worse ERAs than Moyer; they include Tim Lincecum and Ubaldo Jimenez, and nobody's calling for them to be DFA'd. Just because he's 49 years old, then, Moyer's seen as "done".
I think not. Here are five teams that could use his services:
The Tigers just lost Doug Fister to the disabled list. Detroit has promoted a number of good pitching prospects to the major leagues in recent years, but young pitchers like Rick Porcello have struggled. Drew Smyly is doing fine, but apart from that, the Tigers don't have much help at Triple-A; top prospect Jacob Turner has a 5.09 ERA. They've turned to Casey Crosby to take Fister's spot in the rotation for now, but Moyer could help stabilize their staff and be a mentor to the younger pitchers. Comerica Park, in the past a tough home-run park, ranks a bit above average for homers this year, so that might give the Tigers some pause.
Only Jeanmar Gomez and Derek Lowe have been solid performers for the Tribe's rotation this year, and Lowe just got pounded by the White Sox; his ERA soared by over a run in just one outing. The Indians have bounced prospect Zach McAllister up and down between Cleveland and Triple-A Columbus this season; he's been decent at the MLB level, but Moyer could provide some stability for the Indians. Unlike Comerica Park, Progressive Field has been one of the stingiest parks in home runs allowed this season with a home-run park factor of 0.625, the fourth-lowest in the major leagues.
Speaking of parks where few home runs are hit, Petco is where fly balls go to die. Granted, Petco Park's 0.437 home-run factor -- the lowest in baseball -- is in part because the Padres have hit only nine home runs there in 28 games (comparison point: they just hit eight in a three-game series at Wrigley Field), but also because Padres opponents have hit just 16 home runs in San Diego this year. The Padres have some decent young pitchers, but they also have Jeff Suppan in their rotation (with his 5.28 ERA and 0.54 strikeout-to-walk ratio), and just signed Jason Marquis, who posted an 8.47 ERA and surrendered nine home runs in 34 innings for the Twins. Jamie Moyer can do better than that. In fact, he did do better than that.
Because the Red Sox always need pitching. Always, always, always. Even when they think they're healthy, someone gets hurt. Besides, Moyer knows his way around the Fenway clubhouse; he pitched for them in 1996. Among his teammates were Mike Greenwell, Mike Maddux, Dee Gordon's father, and Roger Clemens.
But to me, the team that makes the most sense for Moyer is yet another club he pitched for in the recent past.
Why not? Moyer pitched admirably for the Phillies when they acquired him late in the 2006 season; he helped stabilize their rotation through the first four years of their current five-season playoff run. He had one of his best overall years in 2008, when he helped the Phillies to the World Series. Citizens Bank Park is a bit favorable to home-run hitters this season, but overall run-scoring is below average there (the park factor for runs there ranks 22nd in MLB).
Moyer's a Philadelphia-area native who's still popular with the fans. He can help fill in while Halladay is out, and provide insurance for any other injuries that pop up (remember, Cliff Lee has also been on the DL already this year).
It's the right thing to do, Ruben Amaro Jr. Bring Jamie Moyer back to Philadelphia to finish the season, so he can have an appropriate retirement and not have his career end by being waived or released.