Attempting to sign pitchers who went to other leagues and were successful overseas has worked for some clubs. The amount of money invested was minimal, so there wouldn’t be much chance of anger if that investment didn’t work out. In Matt Moore’s case, it did not work out.
73 IP, 1.59 WHIP, 18.9 K%, 11.4 BB%, 1.85 HR/9, 6.29 ERA (5.76 FIP)
As a starter, Matt Moore was bad. In 13 starts, hitters hit .281/.377/.531 for a .908 OPS. As a reliever, he was a little more effective, “limiting” them to a .246/.303/.426 for a .729 OPS. That’s a rather substantial difference in what Moore was letting hitters do. The difference in ERA as a starter (6.55) and a reliever (5.40) shows that perhaps he was miscast as a starter in the first place. His numbers as a reliever are skewed a bit by two poor outings, one where he gave up three runs in 1⁄3 of an inning and another where he allowed two runs in one inning. Take those two appearances out and his ERA becomes a much more palatable 2.93. Every team needs a mop up guy and if Moore had been given that role from the outset and pitched the same way, he would probably be looked at much more favorably.
Let’s not beat around the bush though. Moore was not a good pitcher this year and shouldn’t have been counted on as a viable option for the rotation. His best deployment probably would have been as a bulk innings guy behind an opener, but that would take a coaching staff that had the ability to think past the double switch.
The decision to sign him is defensible since he did show bouts of effectiveness as a reliever ($3 million isn’t that much money), but when they decided he would be their fifth starter, that’s when the issues started.
You’d like to think he isn’t going to be here next year, but Moore feels like a guy they are going to sign to a minor league deal because they are familiar with him and he could provide depth for them. Would he take a minor league deal is the question. With teams looking for all sorts of help in rotations, he could get another major league deal. If the Phillies did give him a minor league shot, that’s not a bad outcome.
Just don’t guarantee him anything.
Final grade: D
Moore wasn’t good. For a team that needed to hit on several of its low cost signings across the roster in order to be competitive, Moore was a miss. Couple that with Chase Anderson’s poor season and two-fifths of the Opening Day rotation bottomed out. That’s not a formula for success.