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.

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14 Comments

  1. Drew says:

    Words cannot explain how happy this makes me.

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  2. Steve says:

    I thought as soon as I heard about this last night that Farnsworth is done for the year, or that it is a very real possiblity. I hope they put Moore in relief so we can see him for 1 inning at max effort. He could be even more dominant without having to worry about conserving energy for 100+ pitches and 7+ innings, we might see 98 a lot. You can't say that the front office isn't going for it now. Where has De la Rosa been all year? The guy can throw gas.

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  3. Esteban Yan says:

    I just orgasmed.

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  4. Sarah says:

    Have no idea how Moore will do, but I was thrilled by this call up because it says that even the RFO is now all in. Too bad they made no move to be more competitive at the trade deadline, but at least now I have the sense that the most promising guys in the Rays organization are all in place and ready for a final push.

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  5. MarkE says:

    "But don’t look for him to be used for more than a single start."

    And if they make the playoffs?

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  6. phil says:

    how about using him in middle relief to limit Hellickson innings...and start him once in the doubleheader with the yanks!

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    • Sarah says:

      That makes sense -- you sure wouldn't want him to start out in a high leverage 8th inning situation anyway.

      The one thing that Maddon did this year that really annoyed me was bring up Alex Torres, have him come in to a game with bases loaded, watch him walk in the losing run, and then ship him back to Durham. Great way to build the confidence of your 2014 starting rotation!

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      • Ken says:

        Since we have an off day on 9/19 and don't play the DH until 9/21, the Rays will be able to use WD (9/20), Hellboy (9/21), James (9/21) and Jeff (9/22) on normal rest against NYY. Price would be able to pitch on 9/23 with normal rest. We would need a SP for the 9/24 game vs Toronto. Then WD, Hellboy, James and Jeff would pitch the final 4 games. The interesting decision will be if the RFO will start Hellboy on 9/26 because he will have reached his IP max for the year with his next two starts (9/15 vs Boston & 9/21 vs NYY).

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      • Alex says:

        Um really because I seem to remember another lefty arm of ours coming in the 8th inning of the ALCS in his rookie year and not even blinking. Moore is just as good if not better than that man in terms of stuff

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        • Sarah says:

          Alex, I didn't mean Moore should NEVER pitch a tough 8th inning, but rather than he should get some chances to pitch to major leaguers that are not so high pressure. Price had a start and several relief appearances during the regular season before stepping up to that memorable 7th game of the ALCS. My recollection was that these appearances were not in high leverage situations.

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  7. Ken says:

    Maddon said before the game tonight that if the Rays make the playoffs, the IP max doesn't apply. You go for it in the playoffs!!! Hellboy would pitch and Moore would be in the bullpen!! I bet the RFO would rest those two pitchers at the start of 2012 season to adjust for the games played in Oct of 2011. I can live with that if we win the WS!!!!!

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