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2023 Phillies in review: McKinley Moore


Cincinnati Reds v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Every team in every season is forced at one point or another to reach down deep into their 40-man roster for some kind of fungible reliever to bring up in an emergency. They are but whispers, names easily forgotten to even the most ardent of fan.

As I research this player, this McKinley Moore, you simply cannot prove to me that you remember when he pitched. Whatever you say, I do not believe you that you know when he came in.

2023 stats: 3 G, 3 13 IP, 5 H, 7 R (7 ER), 1 HR, 5 BB, 2 K, 18.90 ERA (12.26 FIP), -0.1 fWAR

The good

Moving on...

The bad

Well look it there. I have found evidence that McKinley Moore did in fact pitch in the major leagues last season. Two of them were blowouts, both a win and a loss for the Phillies, in which Moore saw mop-up duty where he forgot the bucket, allowing three runs in each appearance. The other was an outing in Cincinnati in which Moore entered with the game still within reach at 5-2 in favor of the Reds, but Moore gave them that last run to push them closer to victory.

Other than that, there isn’t much to say. He’s your basic fastball/slider reliever, or in the newer parlance of the times, fastball/sweeper reliever. His biggest issue is that his sweeper is left in less than desirable spots in the zone.

That and he can’t throw strikes. Basically, he lived up to his prediction at the beginning of the season from Fangraphs:

He still doesn’t have very good feel for strikes, as Moore scatters fastballs all over the place....Until then, he’s a classic up/down reliever whose stuff is good enough to miss big league bats but whose control isn’t good enough to inspire regular confidence in his manager.

It’s fine, but he clearly wasn’t ready for the majors. He’ll be part of the bullpen 40-man churn next year, but unless he suddenly develops command, he’ll be gone before long.

The future

Listen, Moore is going to in the organization next year, likely spending the bulk of it in Lehigh Valley. He’ll make that long trek to Citizens Bank Park a few times, thanks to those blessed minor league options he possesses. Still, it’s hopeful he can turn into something the Phillies can use more often. Relievers are getting more and more expensive with each year of free agency, so the ability to develop quality bullpen arms in the minor leagues is something that will be valued.

He just needs more seasoning.

And to learn how to throw strikes.