Moyer upset about being moved to 'pen
Veteran said he was told in offseason he'd remain starter
CHICAGO -- Jamie Moyer is not happy about his demotion to the bullpen.
In fact, he said he feels misled about it.
Moyer learned Monday the Phillies had sent him to the bullpen to make room for Pedro Martinez, who will make his Phillies debut Wednesday night against the Cubs. Moyer is 10-9 with a 5.47 ERA in 22 starts this season. His ERA is the highest in the National League, although he is 7-6 with a 4.40 ERA in 15 starts since May 20. Martinez has not pitched since last season with the Mets.
"I feel a little disheartened," Moyer said. "I feel a little bit like I've been misled. I feel like I've played this game long enough that the respect factor should be there. I'm really not happy with the decision that the Phillies have made."
Moyer, 46, signed a two-year, $13 million contract with the Phillies in the offseason after he went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA.
"Ultimately, I'm a little disheartened because this past winter when I was negotiating with the Phillies, this was a sore thumb, if you will, about this potentially happening," Moyer said. "You can't promise anything in this game, but I really felt [general manager] Ruben [Amaro Jr.] parlayed to me that this type of situation would not happen. Actually, I even had some discussion with [team president] David [Montgomery] with them reassuring me that this type of situation wouldn't happen."
Amaro said through a team spokesperson that the Phillies re-signed Moyer under the pretense of him being a starting pitcher, but circumstances had changed.
He also said the club would not discuss Moyer's contract negotiations.
"We're in first place," Moyer said. "I probably feel like I haven't contributed as well as I could have, but I think if you go around to the other 24 players on our club, they would probably say the same type of thing.
"Whether I like it or not, this is the situation I'm in. I will deal with it. I will deal with it in a respectful way. I'll be respectful to my teammates. I do not want to be a distraction and I refuse to be a distraction. It's about the 25 players that are here. We all have to pick each other up. We all have to support each other. We all have to be professional about what we do.
"This is a job that sometimes you're in situations that you like or dislike and you have to deal with it. That's why for me dealing with this like a man and taking whatever they choose to do. I'm an employee here, but I don't always have to like the situation that I'm in. And that's OK. Life goes on."
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said moving Moyer to the bullpen was the toughest decision he has made as a manager because of who Moyer is.
Moyer has won a team-high 40 games for the Phils since the beginning of the 2007 season. He is held in high regard in the clubhouse and front office.
But from Moyer's point of view, he has a team-high 10 wins and a respectable ERA since late May for a first-place team. Put those things together with whatever the Phillies might have said to him in the offseason and he probably wonders why he gets bumped for Martinez, who has not pitched in the Majors since last season.
Moyer had an animated discussion with Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee in the stands after Moyer finished speaking with reporters. Dubee said he had nothing to say about the matter.
Martinez said he feels for Moyer.
"I'm a man," Martinez said. "I'm a human being. So is Jamie. He's my friend, my teammate, my colleague, whatever you want to call it. Of course, you have to feel. If it happened the same way, if I went to the bullpen, I wouldn't be happy. It wasn't my decision. It wasn't me. I was placed in this position. As a matter of fact, I didn't know anything until [Monday]."
Manuel and Dubee said they weren't sure how Moyer would be used in the bullpen. Dubee had said previously that Moyer was not a good fit because of his age and because he hasn't pitched out of the bullpen regularly since 1996.
But they have no choice now. He is in there, and he isn't happy about it.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.