Evaluating the Talent: Guillermo Moscoso
I’m not going to lie to you, I really can’t name all the pitchers on the Rockies’ roster right now. There are just too damn many, and a whole lot of them are new. A girl only has so many memory devices to call on. One I haven’t given a whole lot of thought to yet is Guillermo Moscoso, one of the guys who came over from the A’s in exchange for Seth Smith. I guess part of me just doesn’t want to get too attached. After all, Kevin Slowey was gone almost as soon as he arrived. Can my heart stand to lose another? Perhaps not.
Let’s look at Moscoso briefly though, and think about where he might slot into the rotation. Certainly the only one who is locked up from opening day forward is Jhoulys Chacin, so those other four spots are going to create some hot competition. I hope. I suppose there’s always a chance that everyone will just fall flat on their faces in Scottsdale, and Chacin will have to pitch every single game of the 2012 season. But let’s be optimistic.
Moscoso actually has a solid chance at one of the middle spots, perhaps 3 or 4. He’s coming off just his first full season in the majors, and he started 23 games in 2011. He won 8 of those and posted a 3.38 ERA. No telling what will happen to that number once it travels from the Bay Area to the Mile High City, but again, we’re going with optimism here. Fangraphs calculated his WAR at 1.3. I will absolutely take that, considering it is better than any other non-injured starter that played with the Rockies in 2011 and will enter spring training with them in 2012. If Moscoso can handle the altitude change, he stands to be a member of the rotation that I will perhaps describe as “not bad.” Or even, if I’m in a good mood, “pretty okay.”
The primary complaint about Moscoso is that he doesn’t work down enough, and his 54% flyball rate is pretty alarming. He’s young enough and under team control long enough (2016) that there is a possibility the organization could develop him into something workable. It’s just as possible that the Moscoso experiment will fail and he’ll find himself packaged into another deal come the trade deadline, or next December. Who knows? For now, his performance in spring training should tell us a lot.