Apr 6, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore (55) in the dugout against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Moore has yet to pitch in 2015, but he is close to starting a rehab assignment and finding his way back into the rotation. Moore underwent Tommy John surgery after only two starts in 2014 and has been on the mend every since. He recently threw an extended spring training game and could soon begin a minor league rehab assignment. The hope is that he will be back in the rotation by the end of June.
Once Moore returns, we have to think that there will be a bit of an adjustment period–he won’t immediately be his old self. Moore has always possessed upper-echelon stuff with spotty command at times but will likely slot in somewhere near the middle to the back of the rotation when all is said and done. He still has a chance to be a very good pitcher–maybe a number two starter in an average major league rotation–but given the quality of the Rays’ starters, he will likely slot in as more of a mid-rotation arm than an ace.
Moore remains an important part of the Tampa Bay Rays’ future after signing a long-term extension in 2012 that could keep him in Tampa Bay through the 2019 season. For the short-term, meanwhile, Matt Moore’s return will not only upgrade the Rays’ rotation, but also improve the bullpen as Erasmo Ramirez or Alex Colome shifts to relief. Either of them could be a serviceable starter, but they both possess considerably more upside out of the bullpen.
Next: Alex Colome