With the Rays suddenly in the race for the Wild Card after their sweep of the Red Sox. And with their non-closer, closer Kyle Farnsworth nursing a tender elbow, the Rays are set to unveil their secret weapon, Matt Moore.
Moore, a left-hander, the Rays top prospect, and one of the top prospects in baseball, split the season between double-A and triple-A. He is expected to be used in relief. The Rays do have a double-header against the Yankees on the 21st, and Moore could be used as a spot-starter.
Even with his five-star prospect status, few thought Moore would see the big leagues this season considering the Rays patience with top prospects. But Moore’s dominance, especially in nine triple-A starts may have forced the Rays to reconsider their options.
Of course, what will be interesting is to see just how much the Rays are willing to use Moore as they push for the playoffs.
Moore’s 155.0 innings pitched are already a career-high, surpassing last year’s mark by 10.1 innings so far. The Rays typically like to limit their young arms to a 20 percent increase from season-to-season until they are ready to throw 200 innings. That would limit Moore to about 174 innings this season.
In theory, Moore has about 20 innings left in his arm this season. So the Rays will probably be comfortable using Moore as needed. But don’t look for him to be used for more than a single start.