Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Damian Moss 

Apparently, we signed Damian Moss to a minor league contract about a month ago, but forgot to tell anybody. Until now. Here's a little background on the portly Aussie who I would assume is headed to Tacoma.

The 28-year-old lefty was a top prospect in the Braves organization, and seemingly broke out in 2002 with a 12-6 season and 3.42 ERA as the Braves fifth starter. The shiny ERA masked a walk rate of 4.5 per nine innings. But he was effectively wild in 2002, as he only allowed 140 hits in 180 innings, holding batters to a .221 batting average which was fifth best in the NL.

The Braves decided to sell high on Moss after 2002 and in December, 2003 traded Moss to the Giants for pitcher Russ Ortiz. He struggled with the Giants with 63 walks, 57 strikeouts and 121 hits in 115 innings. The mystique of unhittability was long gone.

At the trade deadline, Moss was dealt along with Kurt Ainsworth to the Orioles for Sidney Ponson. Moss had mechanics that were so fouled up that the Orioles tried just shutting him down to work on the side for a little while in an attempt to straighten himself out. Damian himself admitted that his lack of physical conditioning had created some mechanical problems and that he intended to work hard in the off-season to return to the form he showed with the Braves. But the pitching-starved Orioles gave up on him, letting him walk rather than offering arbitration.

2004 found him signing with the Devil Rays organization for $850,000, but Moss struggled from the outset and soon found himself in AAA after giving up 15 runs in 8 innings in 2 April starts and 3 relief appearances that lasted all of 8 innings.

Essentially, Damian Moss encountered Lou Piniella. "We're really trying to find out if Moss is going to stay in the rotation," Piniella said on April 27. "Once Moss tells us, yeah, he wants the job, then we can act. And hopefully that's what he'll do."

On May 4th, Moss was sent to AAA Durham. By August 14th, he had compiled a 5.87 ERA in 17 starts, and was released by the D-Rays. The Reds picked him up, but he didn't do much in Louisville either with a 10.61 ERA in 3 starts. He became a free agent, and played this winter for Cibao in the Dominican Winter League. Through 10 innings he had given up 6 walks.

So, Moss is essentially a failed prospect who is now joining his sixth organization in 3 years. Don't expect miracles.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?