Brian Moehler has come a long way. And yet, this seems familiar. Why? Because Moehler has been pitching for a while now, quietly and successfully.
In his days in Detroit, from ’96 through ’02, he was able to amass 48 wins in 131 starts. From ’97 to ’00, he was able to amass double digit wins each season with Detroit. Over his career, he has had a 4.43 ERA, making stops in Cincinnati, Houston and now in Florida along the way.
Earning his third win on the year, Moehler – despite having pretty solid numbers – seems to be more hard luck than lucky at this point. Yet, he keeps pitching and giving the Marlins solid outings every fifth day.
The Marlins are 38-7 when they score 4 runs or more. That is best in the majors. Moehler, by contrast, has a 3.16 ERA this season and only has 3 wins to show for it. The Marlins have scored 6 total runs in Moehler’s 6 losses; 2 of those coming by 1 run. But Moehler keeps pitching.
In fact, with Olsen now being placed into the starting lineup and Leiter being moved into the bullpen, will Moehler keep his starting spot when Valdez returns? Who knows. But with Moehler’s consistent pitching in place of an injured Ismael Valdez, the Marlins have had a chance to win. It is hard to argue that the Marlins would have been better off with Valdez out there (Moehler’s K/BB is better: 1.88 vs. Valdez’s ’04 1.37 as well as Moehler’s 3.16 ERA against Valdez’s 4.50 ’04 ERA)). And this gives the Marlins an interesting problem – send Valdez into the bullpen or Moehler.
Right now, Moehler has been putting together quality starts and has been arguably the Marlins second most consistent pitcher right behind Willis. He has solidified his starting spot with the Marlins – for how long, will be up to Moehler. And that may be his biggest victory yet.