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2008 Braves Bullpen: Peter Moylan

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Peter Moylan got quite a bit of press as the side-arm Australian during the WBC and signed with the Braves soon thereafter. I was impressed with his pure stuff immediately although it seemed like the incredible amount of movement on his pitches made it difficult for him to control. He struggled both in the majors and got knocked around for 6.35 ERA last season with Richmond. I still believed in his ability to be an effective reliever but it seemed like I was one of the few. I was hoping Moylan would get a shot in '07 but myself or anyone else for that matter would not have predicted the kind of success Moylan enjoyed. Moylan did not get an opening day job with Atlanta but after two scoreless innings for Richmond, he was called up to replace Chad Paronto, who had been placed on the DL. He immediately made a case for a permanent spot in the pen with ERA's of 2.89, 2.40, and 2.30 in his first three months. Most people assumed that he was due for regression and again, no one would have guessed those would be his three significantly worst months. His stuff is dazzling. Moylan brings a low-90's fastball which has more movement then quite a few pitchers' breaking balls and a big sweeping slider that makes both lefties and righties look foolish. Post All-Star break, Moylan had a 1.45 ERA in 43.1 innings while establishing himself as the most versatile man in the Braves pen. Moylan can pitch multiple innings at a time, has a rubber arm, can come in and get the strikeout, and consistently gets ground balls (almost 2.5 ground outs for every fly ball out). He is basically everything you want in a reliever. His command improved significantly from 2006 as well, allowing only three walks for every nine innings pitched. Now I wouldn't expect a 1.80 ERA next year but he is certainly going to be one of the more reliable arms in the Braves bullpen. His BABIP was exceptionally low at .236 and though the nature of his pitching allows him to have a well below-average BABIP, that should rise at least ten or fifteen points. I think an ERA in the low-to-mid-two's is reasonable to expect from Moylan next year. He is certainly one of the guarantees going into 2008 for a spot in the pen. I think his value really goes beyond his ERA though. There are some relievers who have better pure stats than him, however the versatility he allows a manager definitely bumps him up to a status as one of the most valuable bullpen arms in the game.

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