Andrew Moore Will Focus On What Works
This spring is at once the same and completely different for 23-year-old righthander Andrew Moore.
He reports to big league camp for a second straight year as a long shot to win a job in the rotation, but he is now buoyed by some hard-won experience after being pressed into service in Seattle last season for 11 games and 59 innings as a rookie.
"I had a lot of good experiences the first time,” Moore said. "Working with (pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre), getting to pick (James) Paxton’s brain and (Nick) Vincent’s brain and some of those guys.
"(I’m) just trying to get ready, stay healthy and come into camp sharp.”
A 2015 supplemental second-round pick out of Oregon State, Moore raced through the Mariners’ system and, when injuries ravaged the rotation a year ago, gained what amounted to a battlefield promotion when summoned June 22 to make his big league debut.
Moore responded by holding the Tigers to three runs over seven innings in a 9-6 victory, but further success proved elusive. He gave up 10 homers in 29.2 innings over his next six starts and found himself back in the minors.
"Andrew needs to (change batters' eye levels),” general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "That’s what he’s always done, but when he came up, he started trying to pitch in and out down in the zone.”
That strategy didn’t work because Moore’s fastball is arrow-straight at average velocity. His success depends on working up and down.
Back at Triple-A Tacoma, Moore resumed his old approach and pitched better once he returned as a September callup. He recorded a 3.48 ERA in 20.2 innings and allowed just three homers.
"That (up-and-down approach) was one thing I can pinpoint that was a little sharper than in some of the earlier outings,” Moore said. "That’s the main thing we’re trying to hone in on.”
While his late-season success softened the harshness of his final rookie numbers—he went 1-5, 5.34—Moore will likely open the season back at Tacoma.
Core Mariners Prospects Travel In A Pack
The Mariners stationed most of their top prospects at Double-A Arkansas in 2019 so they could grow together as a group.
How long he stays there is anybody’s guess. The Mariners’ rotation is loaded with questions, and another chance seems likely. This time, when it comes, Moore won’t change a thing.