2013 Dodgers in Review #40: RP Peter Moylan

90topps_petermoylab6.46 ERA / 6.18 FIP 15.1 IP 352 K/9 4.11 BB/9 (D)

2013 in brief: Appeared in ten June games for the Dodgers, but spent most of the year buried in Albuquerque before returning for a September cameo.

2014 status: Signed a minor league deal in Houston.

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A+ for the mustache, Peter Moylan. Not so much for everything else, unfortunately.

I should point out right upfront that Moylan shouldn’t be judged simply by that ERA, because as we all know, ERA for relievers means just about nothing. I say that because in Moylan’s first nine games, he had a perfectly fine 2.89 ERA. In his tenth game, Moylan was forced to take one for the team after Chris Capuano lasted only 3.2 innings in an eventual 16-1 loss to Philadelphia, and ended up giving up five runs in two innings, immediately blasting his ERA north of six.

Moylan never really could miss any bats in his time up this year, and he was probably only added because it was May 31 and he had a June 1 opt-out. When you’re pairing that with control issues and homer problems, that’s not usually going to work out well — especially when the once-vaunted groundball ace was giving up nearly 50% flyballs. He was much better with the Isotopes, putting up a 43/19 in 43 innings, but never got another chance until rosters expanded after the Dodger bullpen started to dominate.

It’s too bad that it didn’t work out, because I was pretty excited when they signed him — after all, who wouldn’t love a tattooed Aussie sidearmer who hates Nickelback? Moylan turned 35 in December, and we may have seen his last hurrah, though he did land a minor league deal with the Astros. If for no other reason than that he’s awesome and the team’s going to Australia in March, I wish he was back.

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Next! Carlos Marmol was a Dodger!

Dodgers @ Rockies May 31, 2013: Peter Moylan For Center Field

coorsfieldThe Dodgers finally dipped down into the organization to make a long-awaited move to reinforce the roster today, looking to help a group that is minus Matt Kemp and dealing with aches to Carl Crawford & A.J. Ellis. To fill that gap, they’ve optioned Javy Guerra to Albuquerque, moved Scott Elbert to the 60-day disabled list, and recalled… *drum roll*…

34-year-old Australian non-roster reliever Peter Moylan. Oh.

Considering the kind of moves we’ve been talking about around here for the last few days, that seems like a horrible disappointment, especially since Clayton Kershaw starts tonight and the bullpen hasn’t been horribly overworked lately — and there’s still no viable center fielder. But there is a certain amount of logic to it: Moylan and his wonderful mustache had a June 1 opt-out in his contract if he wasn’t promoted to the big leagues. He’ll wear #41 and last threw on Tuesday, so he should be available.

Dodgers
Rockies
2B
M.Ellis
LF
Young
RF
Ethier
CF
Fowler
1B
Gonzalez
SS
Tulowitzki
C
Hernandez
RF
Cuddyer
LF
Van Slyke
C
Rosario
CF
Schumaker
1B
Pacheco
SS
Cruz
3B
Arenado
3B
Uribe
2B
LeMahieu
P
Kershaw
P
Garland

What that means, really, is that this has nothing to do with the ongoing center field issue and was likely to happen regardless; all it is, really, is swapping one righty reliever for another before Moylan was lost. (Though Guerra was serving as the “long man”, more or less, a role Moylan is ill-suited for.) Moylan had pitched reasonably well in 17 games for the Isotopes, striking out 24 in 23 innings while holding righties to a line of .255/.305/.327. Lefties predictably torched him, but he was better than his 3.52 ERA would indicate since he allowed three earned runs in his season debut and only six in the 16 games since.

As for Elbert, as some have asked me, no — this does not reset his clock and require him to be out for an additional two months. By all indications, he’s mere days from returning (as he should be after a surprising eight rehab appearances) and so this is just a paperwork move to get Moylan on the roster. Why it was him rather than Shawn Tolleson, out for months after back surgery, I do not know. But of course, as Elbert comes back along with Hanley Ramirez — who starts his rehab tonight — and whatever solution they go with in center, likely Yasiel Puig, many more moves are coming.

In the meantime, Crawford sits tonight after yesterday’s adventure with the left field wall, so Scott Van Slyke gets another start, but this next time to Skip Schumaker in center. No, there’s no typo in my lineups over there… that is indeed Ramon Hernandez cleaning up tonight. The Rockie-turned-Dodger will face Dodger-turned-Rockie Jon Garland, who has had trouble missing bats (28 in 57 innings) for Colorado. Then again, he also had 28 whiffs in 54 innings for the 2011 Dodgers, so that’s basically just what he is these days.

Fri 10/11Sat 10/12Sun 10/13Mon 10/14Tues 10/15Wed 10/16Thurs 10/17
RR. Belisario9105
LJ.P. Howell152026
RK. Jansen51626
RC. Marmol26
RB. Wilson281411
RC. Withrow2544
RE. Volquez

Projecting the Dodgers’ Minor-League Rosters: Double-A & Triple-A

Editor’s note: Chris Jackson rounds off the minor league roster projections with Chattanooga & Albuquerque. Also, don’t forget to enter the Opening Day roster contest — open through 9pm PT tonight!

Van Slyke is one of nine outfielders who will vie for an Isotopes roster spot this spring. (Photo courtesy of the Isotopes)

Scott Van Slyke is one of nine outfielders who will vie for an Isotopes roster spot this spring. (Photo courtesy of the Isotopes)

Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A Southern League)

Starting rotation: Onelki Garcia, Zach Lee, Aaron Miller, Rob Rasmussen, Chris Reed

All prospects, all the time, in east Tennessee this year! Garcia has the most pure stuff, but the least experience. Lee and Reed will hope their potential matches the results this season. Miller will have to fight to keep his starting spot after a middling season. Rasmussen will get some attention as the new guy in the organization.

Bulllpen: Geison Aguasviva, Steve Ames, Kelvin De La Cruz, Eric Eadington, Jordan Roberts, Andres Santiago, Chris Withrow

That is a lot of lefties, but it is hard to figure out where else to put them. De la Cruz is not a LOOGY and will give them a second long reliever to go with Santiago, who could start if Miller struggles. Aguasviva could fight his way to Albuquerque. Roberts is 27, so if he can’t stick here, his time with the Dodgers may be done. Ames and Eadington figure to share the closing job, though Withrow could see saves, too, now that the Dodgers have committed to him as a reliever. Just missed: Javier Solano

Catchers: Gorman Erickson, Christopher O’Brien

Erickson will be looking for some redemption after a lousy 2012. O’Brien was decent enough at Rancho to merit the promotion.

Infielders: 1B–J.T. Wise, 2B–Rafael Ynoa, SS–Alexis Aguilar, 3B–C.J. Retherford, UTIL–Joe Becker, Omar Luna

Wise and Ynoa have played well enough to earn promotions, but they are blocked at Albuquerque barring some trades. Aguilar is the pick I am least confident in; it could be a half-dozen other guys. In other words, please, Dodgers, sign some random Cuban defector shortstop to spare the poor fans in Chattanooga watching a guy with a career .662 OPS. Retherford had a big year at Rancho, but struggled with the Lookouts, so he will return here. Luna and Becker didn’t play a lot of shortstop last year, but they sure could this year. Just missed: Chris Jacobs 1B, Elevys Gonzalez 3B/2B, Miguel Rojas 2B/SS

Outfielders: LF–Yasiel Puig, CF–Joc Pederson, RF–Blake Smith, OF–Nick Buss, Bobby Coyle

Puig and Pederson are premium prospects. They both figure to play all three outfield spots here. Smith deserves to move up, and he certainly could, but for now I have him starting with the Lookouts. Buss and the talented but oft-injured Coyle return. Just missed: Kyle Russell

Final analysis: If some of the pitchers can translate their potential into results, then this team could be the favorite to win the Southern League. The rotation is six-deep and strong, while the bullpen is strong from both sides of the mound. The outfield should carry the offense, with shortstop being the only real concern on the infield. The Lookouts should be fun to watch this season.

Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A Pacific Coast League)

Starting rotation: Fabio Castro, Stephen Fife, Matt Magill, Matt Palmer, Mario Santiago

Magill is the legit prospect here. Fife returns and will be the first called up in the event of an injury to a starter in L.A. Palmer can chew up innings, but that is it. Castro was terrible last year with the A’s organization and might not last long in Albuquerque. Santiago is a gamble, with the Dodgers/Isotopes hoping he can carry over the success he found in Korea last year with the SK Wyverns.

Bullpen: Michael Antonini, Blake Johnson, Hector Nelo, Red Patterson, Paco Rodriguez, Cole St. Clair, Shawn Tolleson, Josh Wall

Antonini’s health is in question, so he might not crack this group. Rodriguez and Tolleson both deserve to pitch in the Majors, but I have Javy Guerra and Ted Lilly taking the last two spots. Johnson and St. Clair return in the long relief roles. Wall should close again. Patterson moves up, but it could easily be Ames instead. Nelo, a minor-league Rule 5 pick, gets the nod over the plethora of Triple-A vets signed this off-season. I am also betting that the veteran trio of Kevin Gregg, Mark Lowe, and Peter Moylan will opt out at the end of the spring. Just missed: Juan Abreu, Victor Garate, Gregory Infante, Wilmin Rodriguez, Luis Vasquez

Catchers: Jesus Flores, Matt Wallach

Flores could easily be subbed out for Federowicz if the Dodgers opt to have the prospect play every day and the veteran back up A.J. Ellis. Consider them interchangeable. Wallach has never hit, but he plays good defense and seems like a safe bet to the backup. Just missed: Eliezer Alfonzo, Wilkin Castillo, Ramon Castro

Infielders: 1B–Nick Evans, 2B–Elian Herrera, SS–Dee Gordon, 3B–Dallas McPherson, UTIL–Rusty Ryal, Justin Sellers

Evans always earned rave reviews for his defense, which could be a big help for Gordon’s wild throws (remember how Mark Teixeira made Derek Jeter look better back in 2009?). While it can be speculated that Gordon could or should be in the Majors, until he proves otherwise, I have him here. Sellers is another guy most people are counting out, but the Dodgers have not dumped him yet, even after his arrest in Sacramento. Herrera can, and likely will, play everywhere, but he should play almost every day. McPherson will DH against AL teams, since his back is unlikely to hold up for 144 games. Ryal gets the nod because the Isotopes need the left-handed bat. Just missed: Alfredo Amezaga UTIL, Brian Barden 3B, Ozzie Martinez SS

Outfielders: LF–Scott Van Slyke, CF–Tony Gwynn Jr., RF–Alex Castellanos, OF–Jeremy Moore

Unless Castellanos returns to the infield, this outfield is tough to figure out. Both he, Moore and Van Slyke are all right-handed hitters, so it would make a lot of sense for someone like Smith (who hits left-handed) to move up from Chattanooga. Unless the Isotopes only carry seven relievers (which, fat chance), it won’t happen unless the Dodgers move Van Slyke in a trade. Moore gets that backup spot because he can play all three positions and because the Dodgers obviously think very highly of him as he was the only free agent to participate in their prospect minicamp last month. Just missed: Matt Angle, Brian Cavazos-Galvez

Final analysis: This team does not look as talented as last year’s playoff squad, at least on paper. The rotation looks awfully suspect behind Fife and Magill. The bullpen could be good, at least. The lineup lacks left-handed bats, but should be able to score enough runs to keep games interesting. If the Dodgers can’t find any additional starting pitchers, however, it could be a long summer of 12-10 scores in Albuquerque, which this reporter is not very interested in watching anymore.

The Invites Never Stop: Peter Moylan Edition

In what is clearly the biggest news story of the day — nope, nothing else happened, I promise, nothing bizarre or riveting — we have yet another player coming to camp with the Dodgers, and once again it’s broken by a beat writer from the player’s former team. This time it’s righty reliever Peter Moylan who has signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers, at least according to MLB.com Braves writer Mark Bowman. No word yet on if there’s a camp invite, though I’m guessing there is.

Moylan’s an Australian who turned 34 earlier this month, and he’s been with Atlanta for his entire career, getting into 295 games dating back to 2006. Of course, that workload has been fantastically inconsistent. Three times (2007, 2009-10) he’s been in 80 games or more, but he also missed nearly all of 2008 with Tommy John surgery and most of 2011 after back surgery, then spent most of 2012 in the minors recovering from October 2011 shoulder surgery.

When healthy, Moylan’s a sidearming groundball machine (63.9% career) who is basically a ROOGY, given his career success against righties (.213/.273/.301) as opposed to struggles against lefties (.278/.408/.381).

Now, whether he has anything left after years of heavy usage and injuries remains to be seen. Maybe he’s just a camp arm that we never hear from again, this year’s John Grabow. But I know I’ll be rooting for him, because he’s a sidearmer, an Aussie, a noted practical joker, a prolific Tweeter, tattooed to the point that he looks like he should be a roadie for Motorhead, and — perhaps most importantly — he hates Nickelback:

Peter Moylan is a reliever for the Atlanta Braves, apparently. I follow the greatest franchise in the history of sports, so you know, he’s not really on my radar. Anyway, this Moylan guy must have gotten back from a Foo Fighters concert and decided Nickelback needed a kick in the ass. The tweet reads “Note to @nickelback please attend a @foofighters concert. That’s how’s it should be done chad.”

I think I love him already.