Moscot Shines in Season Debut

Rain Tuesday had Louisville playing their first two road games of the season in a double header. In spite of solid pitching they could only manage a split in a couple of 1-0 contests. Jon Moscot was sharp in his first game of the season and appears ready to assert himself in the Bats rotation.

Louisville and Columbus made up for a Tuesday rainout with a double header on Wednesday. There wasn’t much scoring, actually the two teams combined for the minimum amount of runs for a dh, and both finished the day with split after a couple of 1-0 games.

In the first game, though there was only one run it came quickly. Eugenio Suarez provided the final score when he homered in the game’s first at-bat. Fortunately for the Bats their rotation made that stand up because they would muster only one more hit in the remainder of the dh-shortened seven inning contest. Jon Moscot took the hill and impressed in his first outing of the season by shutting out the Clippers for almost six innings on three hits/two walks while striking out six. Carlos Contreras relieved him with two out in the sixth, but got in trouble by allowing a couple of hits in the final frame. Nate Adcock then came in to retire both batters faced for the save.

It wasn’t Moscot’s AAA debut because he made it up to Louisville at the end of last season in time for a few starts. That was earned from a fine campaign at Pensacola where he held a 3.13 ERA over 25 starts while keeping a K/BB ratio over 2.5. In 2013 he also did well in a handful of Southern League games after putting up a mid-four ernie at Bakersfield, which isn’t bad for the California League.

Moscot has positioned himself on the radar and even jumped into some preseason top Cincinnati prospect lists. MLB journeyman Jason Marquis is trying to sustain his MLB career after Tommy John surgery by holding down the five-man spot with the Reds. Though he turned in a quality start in his first outing of the season he was unable to duplicate it Wednesday and there are reasons to doubt that the 36 year-old journeyman has enough gas left in the tank to hold onto the job. If he falters there are others at Louisville that the Reds would turn to first for a shot to replace him, but Moscot has made himself a darkhorse for a call as early as sometime this season.

Moscot has worked in the Cincinnati system since they drafted him in the fourth round out of Pepperdine in 2012. The right-hander is a finesse pitcher with a fastball that tops out in the low-90’s that he mixes with a curve, changeup, and slider. He throws all of them well enough to offer a broad repertoire, and if that wasn’t enough he’s even added a sinker this year. He delivers them from a 6’4”/210# frame and throws them low enough to keep his career home run rate down to one per nine innings.

He’s also a good example of how a pitcher’s won/loss record is often not a good indicator of his effectiveness on the mound. Cincinnati has recognized this hence his steady ascent up their organization despite a career mark of 13-28. One would be hard pressed to find a better minor league pitcher with a career win percentage close to his .317. He’s continued to pitch well despite the lack of success in awarding decisions and now he’s on the way to establishing himself in the rotation of the highest Reds development level at the age of 23.

In the second game David Holmberg had some hard luck of his own in his team’s 1-0 defeat. He had a solid outing, allowing only three hits/two walks over six innings while striking out five. Unfortunately one of those base runners crossed the plate which cost him the loss. Jose De La Torre relieved him with one scoreless frame. Offensively Tucker Barnhart stroked a couple of doubles which provided half of his team’s four hits.

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