Thursday, March 10, 2016

TOT - Moylan Returns to America

Transaction of Today...March 10, 2006 - The Atlanta Braves signed Peter Moylan as a free agent.

Pool/Getty Images
There are a lot of people who have negative things to say about the World Baseball Classic. Many say the players don't really care about the WBC - especially the American ones - and are simply going through the motions of spring training. A number of the elite players that could play for America have declined because the regular season was far more important than some silly exhibition series. Unless you are a country whose nationalism is ingrained in baseball like the Dominican Republic, Cuba, or Japan, the World Baseball Classic is just a different experience to the usual spring training games. It's over-hyped and ultimately meaningless.

Peter Moylan of Australia would probably disagree with that sentiment.

A failed minor league player who had spent two years in the Twins system in 1996 and 1997, Moylan had left organized ball here in the states after infuriating the Twins with his immaturity. His numbers were pretty poor as well and despite flashing an above-average fastball Down Under, he couldn't get his heater above 90 mph with Minnesota. Returning to his native land after being released, Moylan eventually settled into the opportunistic world of pharmaceutical sells. Yes, he was a pharma guy. I'd call him a pharma bro, but some idiot has already taken that title and attempted to become the world's biggest douchebag.

Moylan didn't completely leave baseball in the rear view, but it was no longer his day job. He caught on with the Blackburn Orioles, a local baseball club in which Moylan played more first base than anything. He hit well and had fun, something that was probably lacking as a member of the Twins organization.

Eventually, Moylan began to tinker with something new - throwing sidearm. After testing it out against the Orioles during batting practice, be began to utilize it in games as a closer and quickly became one of the league's finest relievers. This - and back surgeries after returning to Australia - set the stage for Moylan to make a big splash. The Claxton Shield gave Moylan an atmosphere. As the premier baseball competition in Australia, the Claxton Shield brought in the top teams in the country to decide on who was the best of the best. The event has since been disbanded and replaced by the Australian Baseball League.

Moylan not only impressed the scouts who attended the event with mid-90's heat, he also got noticed by the coaches that were putting together a roster for the inaugural World Baseball Classic. Team Australia failed to win a game, scoring just four runs in three games and surrendering 18, but Moylan was a bright spot. He showed his improved ability with strikeouts of MLB stars and scouts were tripping over each other to sign the righthander.

Ultimately, it was the Braves that Moylan settled on, signing a minor league deal with the Braves on this day a decade ago. A year later, Moylan would embark on a career-defining season a 1.80 ERA in 80 games for the 2007 Braves. He would remain an effective - but often hurt - part of the Braves through the 2012 season. After spending 14 games with the Dodgers the following year, Moylan would miss 2014 with Tommy John surgery. The Braves brought him back on a player/coach minor league deal in 2015, but their bullpen was so fractured that Moylan's contract was transitioned into a normal deal after rejoining the Braves for 22 games.

This offseason, he signed with the Royals to continue his major league career that got its relaunch when the Braves convinced Moylan that his best chance for future success was in Atlanta.

No comments:

Post a Comment