Let me open by promising you all that I will not attempt a single joke about Jamie Moyer‘s age in this post. You’re welcome.
To provide the context of the Rockies’ decision to add Moyer in the year 2012, I will provide one fact: at age 49, Moyer is 11 years older than Todd Helton.
At the end of 2011 we heard again and again about management’s hopes to “change the culture” in the Rockies clubhouse. Some of this was about accountability. Some of this was about a lack of veteran experience. Some of this was the need to jar the status quo.
Now we have a solid idea of what they meant. The team signed free agent Michael Cuddyer for his bat and for his veteran leadership. They unloaded a number of disappointing prospects. They added another veteran presence when they signed Casey Blake. If you trace those moves to the signing of Moyer, it seems like he is the extreme example of what management wanted to add to the mix: veteran players who can simultaneously mentor younger players. Between Jason Giambi, Helton, Cuddyer, Blake, and Moyer if he makes the team, it seems safe to say they have it covered.
But what if that isn’t the whole story with Moyer? It might not be likely, but it is possible that Moyer can actually help the pitching staff with his performance in addition to being a mentor. If you cover his age with your hand and consider everything else he has accomplished, you can at least find hope that he can survive in Colorado. He most recently pitched with relative success in a hitter friendly park in Philadelphia, logging double digit wins from 2007-2009. He keeps hitters off balance with his change-up and he knows his identity as a pitcher. With that last part I mean that Moyer knows what his recipe for success is. That is noteworthy considering the identity crisis of recent pitchers in the Rockies rotation and their consequent failed attempts to do more than they are capable of (see Hammel, Jason).
We all must acknowledge the possibility that Moyer will be an unmitigated failure in his audition for the Rockies. He might not even make the team and he is 1 of 10 candidates for the final spots in the rotation. Many of us might never see Moyer wear a Rockies cap. This might be a blip on the radar. This might be a non-story…but…
…if he does make the team and contribute it will be an exciting and fun story. In my book, the Rockies could use one of those.