If you haven’t heard by now, the Dodgers signed veteran reliever Peter Moylan to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. And while the 34-year-old Aussie may be a long shot to make the Dodgers Opening Day roster, he is a favorite to win over fans and to make you laugh.
If the name Peter Moylan sounds familiar to you, there is good reason – the guy is an absolute hoot. Moylan gained national attention when he posted a photograph on Twitter of his beautiful fiancée and himself as they were preparing to head out for the annual ESPY awards – both wearing sexy dresses (he didn’t actually wear the dress to the event).
Moylan was born in Perth, Australia and made a name for himself while playing for Team Australia in the 2006 World Baseball Classic by striking out Bobby Abreu, Marco Scutaro, Ramon Hernandez and Magglio Ordóñez. That performance earned him an invitation to spring training from the Atlanta Braves, who signed the side-arm, hard-throwing right-hander to a minor league contract. Moylan spent most of 2006 (his first professional season) at Triple-A Richmond, however he was called up briefly to the Bigs twice, appearing in a total of 15 games and pitching 15 innings.
It was during the 2007 season where Moylan made his mark. Although he started the season at at Triple-A Richmond, he was called up to stay on April 14th and had an outstanding rookie season with a 5-3 record and a very impressive 1.80 ERA in an incredible 90 innings pitched.
Moylan started the 2008 season on the DL with a sore right elbow. A subsequent MRI revealed a damaged ulna collateral ligament and a bone spur that required Tommy John surgery, forcing him to miss the entire 2008 season.
Moylan’s rehab went exceptionally well and he began the 2009 season on the Braves 25-man roster. After a few rough appearances in April, Moylan settled in and became the Braves number one reliever appearing in 87 games. This combined with his 80 appearances in 2007 made him the first Braves reliever to appear in 80 or more games in two seasons. Additionally, he did not allow a home run in 2009 to set a new MLB record for the most consecutive appearances to start a season without giving up a home run, eclipsing the record of 73 set by Brian Shouse with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007.
In 2010, Moylan continued his dominance appearing in 85 games, finishing the season with a 6–2 record and a 2.97 ERA; but the injury bug struck again in 2011 when, after only seven appearances, he underwent back surgery. Moylan returned to the Braves on September 3, 2011, but after six appearances, he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff and labrum in his pitching shoulder. Although he was initially expected miss all of the 2012 season, he ended up healed and ready to go for spring training in 2012 and was given a minor-league contract worth approximately $1 million; however, he appeared in only 8 games, pitching only 5 innings. He did, however, pick up a win while allowing only one earned run.
Through seven major league seasons, Moylan boasts an impressive record of 20-9 with a career ERA of 2.59 and a WHIP of 1.285. It is undoubtedly because of these excellent numbers that Ned Colletti and Stan Kasten are willing to give Moylan another shot at returning to the Big leagues.
Although Peter Moylan is facing a steep uphill battle for a roster spot that basically doesn’t exist, he will definitely have one huge fan pulling for him at Camelback Ranch this spring – and I suspect that I won’t be the only one.