Last year, the San Francisco Giants did something they haven’t done in quite some time: traded somebody off of their major league roster. The last time, they landed Hunter Pence for Nate Schierholtz and a few prospects. Last deadline, they landed Matt Moore for Matt Duffy and prospects as well.
For the San Francisco Giants, it’s really hard to remember a trade they’ve lost since the rings began to get won. Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler? Well, Wheeler has had tommy john and never truly broke out like many thought. Charlie Culberson for Marco Scutaro? We know how that ended. The Giants have made the necessary moves over the past few years, and haven’t turned back and said, “Dang! We really screwed that one up!”
For some reason people still have mixed feelings about sending Matt Duffy away for Moore. People finally got a glimpse of what Moore brings to the table in his near no-hitter. His stellar performances down the stretch built on that, then he capped it off with his lights out night against the Cubs in Game Four.
But still, people seem to still be upset with the loss of Duffy. The majority of people are more in the, “we’ll miss his personality and clubhouse presence” camp. That’s an OK camp to be in, as long as you understand how beneficial the trade for Moore was to the Giants.
Then there is the “Matt Duffy was an amazing player and should’ve never been traded for this bum” camp. And before you ask, “where is this camp at?” Just check comment boards. They’re there.
I’m not here to try and convince you to leave that camp. If you’re in that camp, you’re blood pressure is probably rising at the moment, making it impossible for you to buy into what I’ll say about Moore. And that’s fine. He’ll just prove it on the mound.
The biggest concern for Moore, and Giants fans alike, is his Tommy John surgery. But really, the performance against the Dodgers and the ensuing performances show that Moore is indeed back, and ready to be at that level again. After throwing 133 pitches in his attempt at throwing a no-hitter, he was pretty strong through the rest of the season. Then you have his stellar performance in Game 4 of the NLDS.
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Moore did plenty enough to show what he can still do. The Tommy John surgery shouldn’t be held against him anymore. That also goes for critiquing his bad performances. In 2017, he’ll look to raise the bottom floor of his performances to create some stability and consistency. If he does that, we’ll see Matt Moore at his 2013 All-Star level, or even better.
Moore will easily slide in after Cueto, giving a nice back and forth between righties and lefties in the Giants rotation. So what can you expect from him? Expect him to raise the bar. All he’s done is prove his ability, and there is no reason he can’t build upon a successful full season return from Tommy John. Moore will be around for a few years, so expect to see him build upon this.
That’s probably the best thing here. Moore has only 600 innings on his arm at the big league level. For comparison, Bumgarner has accumulated 662 innings since Moore had Tommy John Surgery. Moore has life, and time left for him. After having to re-learn a few things, he now can take the next step. That’s what you can expect from him in 2017.
Stay tuned to Around the Foghorn as we build up towards the 2017 season! Spring Training is just around the corner!