Jun 30, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Moore (55) and pitching coach Jim Hickey (48) talk in the dugout against the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Detroit Tigers 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Moore Deserves His All-Star Nod

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When a pitcher is on pace for a 20 win season on a team that is in contention for a playoff berth around the All-Star Break, typically that pitcher gets chosen to the team, unless they have an astronomical ERA or are injured. However, Matt Moore had been snubbed for the Midsummer Classic, to the point where he was not even on the Final Ballot. Even though he was not the only deserving pitcher to be left off the squad, Moore’s exclusion was even more bewildering since Ben Zobrist was the only Rays player to make the team.

That slight was corrected yesterday, when shortly after winning his thirteenth game of the season, Moore was named as an injury replacement for Yu Darvish. On the season, Moore is 13-3 with a 3.44 ERA and 108 strikeouts. While his name may not be mentioned as a possible Cy Young Award winner as it was at the start of the year, Moore now managed to avoid replacing Rick Mahler as the last thirteen game winner not to make the All-Star Game.

Moore’s selection can also be looked at as a validation of sorts. overshadowed by David Price and Jeremy Hellickson entering the season, Moore has been the Rays best starter for most of the year. Along with Alex Cobb, Moore helped carry the Rays rotation while Hellickson struggled and Price missed approximately a month and a half due to his triceps injury. A great deal of the Rays success over the first half of the year could be attributed to the steady presence of Moore in the rotation.

At the start of the year, there was a lot of curiosity as to whether or not one of the other pitchers would be able to step in and fill the void left behind by the departure of James Shields. Although Hellickson has come on as of late, Moore had done the best job of taking over as another top tier starter for the Rays rotation.

Matt Moore has had a phenomenal first half of the season, and the Rays are in playoff contention. Tampa deserved to have more than one player on the All-Star Team, and Moore deserved to be included. Both situations were rectified in one move last night, as Moore has become an All-Star.

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