Jamie Moyer missed the final two months of the season with an elbow injury that he aggravated while pitching winter ball in the Dominican Republic earlier this month, which combined with his status as a free agent led many to assume that he’d be calling it a career at age 48.
However, yesterday Moyer announced plans to undergo elbow surgery with an eye toward returning for a 25th season in 2012, writing “we are cautiously optimistic superman will make a comeback!” on the Facebook page for his family’s charity.
Moyer was still capable of getting big-league hitters out before the injury, going 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA in 19 starts for the Phillies, but he’ll be 49 years old by the time spring training rolls around in 2012 and no pitcher in the past 40 seasons has appeared in a game at that age.
In fact, Satchell Paige, Hoyt Wilhelm, and Jack Quinn are the only pitchers in baseball history to take the mound at 49 or older and they combined to throw a total of just 44 innings. Toss in the normal question marks associated with going under the knife and the odds are stacked pretty heavily against Moyer pitching again. Of course, the odds were also stacked pretty heavily against someone with just 34 career wins through age 30 still being around at age 47, let alone with 267 victories.