Ever since Matt Moore suffered a setback on August 14th, his status has been up in the air. What was supposed to be just a two-week injury is going on a month. But now we finally have a timetable for Moore’s return. Moore tosseed a simulated game on Saturday, tossing 49 pitches against the Rays’ first and second rounders from this year’s draft, Nick Ciuffo and Riley Unroe, and the results were entirely good. He was able throw all of his pitches, including the changup which gave him problems previously, and features good command as well. What happens next? That depends on who you ask. Moore, for his part, believes he can return Thursday against the Angels.
“I feel like I could pitch Thursday against Anaheim,” Moore said before the game. “I feel like if I go out there and throw again, I don’t want to say it’s going to be a waste, but at the same time, if I can be throwing in a game, I’d rather be doing that.”
Joe Maddon thought Moore looked good, but he says that Moore will throw either another simulated game or a bullpen session on Tuesday or Wednesday, make one more outing, and then return to the big leagues after rosters expand on September 1st. Even if Moore feels good, the Rays have no reason to rush him if he’s not 100%, and one extra outing could make a difference for his long-term health. It may take a little while, but now we know with virtual certainty that Moore will be back soon.