Chance to start lures Moseley to Padres
After season in Big Apple, righty poised to play valuable role
PEORIA, Ariz. -- No matter what role Dustin Moseley ends up pitching in this season for the Padres, there is little chance of him being fazed by the atmosphere or his surroundings.
Not after spending last season pitching for the Yankees.
"That was pretty crazy," Moseley said. "The fans there are super intense. They're hardcore fans. If you are pitching well, they're the best fans to be around. But if you're not pitching well ... they're going to let you know about it."
Moseley, who signed with the Padres in the offseason for a chance to compete for a spot in the starting rotation, pitched to mostly mixed reviews in 2010. He was 4-4 with a 4.96 ERA in 16 games (nine starts).
While a part of the rotation in August after Andy Pettitte was injured, Moseley was the winning pitcher in a 7-2 win at Yankee Stadium over the Red Sox in a game televised by ESPN. He got a standing ovation as he left the mound, having allowed two runs in 6 1/3 innings.
But Moseley, who will end up in the bullpen if he doesn't win the fifth starter spot, saved his best outing of the season for the postseason.
In Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Rangers, Moseley was called upon to pitch after CC Sabathia was roughed up to the tune of five runs over four innings and after one scoreless inning by Joba Chamberlain.
Moseley tossed two scoreless innings and struck out four, helping build a bridge to get to closer Mariano Rivera, who earned a save in the 6-5 victory. The credit for the victory? That went to Moseley.
"That was probably the best outing statistically I've had out of the bullpen," Moseley said. "That was an awesome opportunity. But being with the Yankees, it's like no matter where you go, it seems like a playoff atmosphere."
Moseley, who made a relief appearance in the 2007 playoffs with the Angels, wouldn't mind finding his way back to the postseason with his new team, a club that missed the postseason by one victory last season.
One of the reasons he's here is because of the relationship he has with Padres manager Bud Black, who was the pitching coach in Anaheim when Moseley broke in the Major Leagues in 2006.
"When we knew the Padres were interested and Buddy Black was the manager, that was big," Moseley said. "I enjoyed playing for Buddy. When I debuted, he was my pitching coach.
"To know he was pulling for me, it gave me a boost of confidence to get a deal done."
Moseley had other reasons, too. A number of teams wanted him exclusively as a relief pitcher, something he's mostly done in his career. The Padres, having a vacancy in the back of their rotation, offered him a chance to win a starting spot.
"I think Dustin brings a great deal of versatility to our staff," Black said. "Dustin is able to be a real valuable member of the staff. He's got experience. He's got a resilient arm.
"He's got a good head on his shoulders to fulfill a lot of things some pitchers can't."