So Dave Allen over at FanGraphs recently picked up on something I’d noticed back in May, which is that Jamie Moyer is throwing a heck of a lot more fastballs than his usual norm. Which is not a good thing when your fastball maxes out at about 82 mph.
Not surprisingly, Moyer has been extremely ineffective this year, yielding an abominable 1.91 HR/9, which would be second worst in his career behind only his disastrous 2004 campaign, and posting a 5.69 FIP.
What makes this so scary for the Phillies is not merely Moyer’s potential to suck for the remainder of this season, while the Phillies are trying to make the playoffs, but on top of that the fact that Moyer is actually signed to a two-year contract through next season. His 2010 salary has a base of $6.5 million and is set to rise by $250,000 for achieving 23 starts and 150 innings pitched this year, and then by an insane $500,000 each for achieving 160, 170, 180, and 190 innings pitched and 25, 27, 29, and 31 games started.
Given that Moyer is currently on pace for 33 games started and 183 innings pitched, by my calculations if he hits those modest and eminently achievable numbers, his 2010 salary will rise from $6.5 million to a ridiculous $10.25 million.
Given that according to FanGraphs calculations Moyer’s awful performance thus far has been worth negative $800,000, the Phillies need to decide if a year and a half more of Moyer at his current rate of performance is really worth an paying an additional $4 million on top of the sunk cost of his base pay.