If anyone asked who the Rays’ secret weapon has been this season, the answer is pretty clear: lefty Alex Torres. Torres has made 9 appearances spanning 18.1 innings and has not yet allowed a run, allowing just 4 hits and 5 walks while striking out 24. But considering how well Torres has pitched and his history as a starter in the minor leagues, could a return to the rotation be in the cards? Joe Maddon says no.
“I’ve been so impressed with what he’s doing right now,” Maddon said. “We all have. For me, I think my mindset, we have enough of the [Jake] Odorizzis and the [Alex] Colomes and the [Chris] Archers and all those guys that are able to fulfill that starting role. I think what he’s doing right now is very beneficial to us, and his own personal career.
“And there’s no guarantee to say that if he started if he would pitch equally well as he has right now. I don’t know that. I just know what I’m seeing has been really good.”
This isn’t just as case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Torres has been unbelievable in a relief role and why would you possibly take him out? The next step for Torres in his relief career will be pitching on back-to-back days.
“As we continue to do this, there will be that moment where I’m comfortable going a couple days in a row,” Maddon said. “He insists he’s fine the next day. This is just purely us being cautious. This is such a good story and a good arm right now, and such a high upside, we don’t want to mess it up.”
David Price has been progressing back from his triceps injury for a while now, and finally he’s about to start his rehab outings with an appearance for the Rays’ High-A Charlotte affiliate. Price dealt with some soreness recently, but Joe Maddon believes that it may not be long before he returns.
“I think there’s definitely a possibility he could be back before the All-Star break,” Maddon said. “The soreness set us back a little bit, but it seems to be back on task right now.”
The Rays would love to get Price back as soon as possible with Alex Cobb‘s injury putting two rookies in the Rays’ rotation for now, but the key is to make sure he comes back healthy and at full strength. Hopefully that happens within the next few weeks.
As the Rays’ ace lefty Price hopes return soon, the Rays’ other fireballing left-hander looks to get back on track. Matt Moore feels confident about his preparation entering his start versus the Yankees tonight.
“We’ve prepared, and I feel good about this one, as far as preparation of where I was last week. I like the way I feel.”
Moore showed earlier this season that he has the dominant stuff to be an ace in the major leagues as soon as right now if he can just keep his mechanics under control and locate his pitches. With the Rays’ starters going down like flies, the Rays have never needed Moore to step up more than now.