Matt Moore‘s elbow injury that he suffered in Monday’s game was not considered severe. But unwilling to risk the future health of their young left-hander, the Tampa Bay Rays have placed Moore on the disabled list nevertheless. Moore should be out close to the minimum 15 days, and the Rays will have to figure out how to replace them. As we discussed earlier, Cesar Ramos, Erik Bedard, and Nate Karns could be options to start games until Moore is ready to return.
Replacing Moore for the moment is fellow left-hander Jeff Beliveau. Beliveau was called up on several occasions for the Rays last year, but he wound up making just one appearance, tossing 0.2 shutout innings. The 27 year old, who was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers in 2013, posted incredible strikeout numbers at Triple-A Durham, striking out 81 in just 48.2 innings pitched (15.0 K/9). Overalll, he had a 2.40 ERA, an 81-23 strikeout to walk ratio, and a 0.2 HR/9 in 41 appearances, limiting lefties to just a .530 OPS. It is worth noting, though, that righties had a much better .704 OPS against Beliveau and his stuff does not back up his numbers as well as you would like. Beliveau’s fastball hits just the low-90′s, although he does get nice late bite on it, and he throws three solid but unspectacular secondary pitches: a cutter, a curveball, and a changeup. While he is in the major leagues, Beliveau will be the second lefty behind Jake McGee as Cesar Ramos prepares to throw several innings to replace Moore. Beliveau has the ability to be solid enough in the role before getting sent down in favor of a pitcher like Bedard in a few days.
The Rays can’t like that Matt Moore is going down, but the injury could have been far worse and it may make him a little fresher for the stretch run. Beliveau will be the first of the Rays’ bevy of quality pitchers to help make up for Moore’s absence, and it is nice for him to get a chance. Moore is out, but between relievers in the short-term and starters moving forward, the Rays can survive a couple of weeks without him just fine.