Danny Moskos Hit Hard in AFL Appearance

-P- Daniel Moskos got rocked for two runs in an AFL inning Saturday. To his credit, he's stayed in control in the offense-friendly AFL with bunches of strikeouts and grounders. Still, I've read some vague compliments of Moskos from people like Kevin Goldstein recently (subscription required), and while Goldstein's comment was hardly over the top, I have to admit I don't really see anything here yet. Moskos struck out barely more than four and a half batters per nine this year in a league in which he wasn't particularly young. Even accounting for the grounders and for improvement throughout the year, that just isn't enough. (And the solid ERA doesn't predict much without other good stats to back it up.)

To say that he has the requisite hint of upside you get when you take a failed starter and put him in the bullpen is basically true, but still gives him too much credit. Most successful relievers who fit that profile are guys that throw hard but have control issues, or even guys who have success as minor league starters but whose organizations believe are best suited to relief anyway. (I'm thinking here of someone like Jonathan Broxton, who posted excellent numbers as a minor league starter but burst onto the scene as a member of the Dodgers' bullpen, and stayed there.) Moskos doesn't have much of anything--he doesn't have great stuff, or great strikeout rates, or even great control. There aren't even injuries that might explain some of his poor performances, the way there was for Sean Burnett, another former top pick who became an uninspiring lefty reliever. All Moskos has are grounders, and the fact that he's a lefty.

Credit where credit is due, though--he's been very good since August or so. And at least I was able to get through two paragraphs about Moskos without mentioning a certain Orioles catcher.

-P- The Padres have hired Red Sox assistant Jed Hoyer as their new GM. Hoyer interviewed for the Pirates GM job when it was open two years ago, and he inherits a desperate situation in San Diego, so it'll be interesting to see how his GM career parallels that of Neal Huntington.

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