As we all know by now rookie Matt Moore, making just his second big league start yesterday, shut down the Rangers with seven shutout innings in game one of the ALDS. But if Joe Maddon had his way, Moore would have never started the game.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Maddon and Andrew Friedman were divided on who to start in game one, and it was Friedman that championed for Moore…
Joe Maddon walked in late to a meeting. The rest of the Tampa Bay Rays ‘ brain trust – general manager Andrew Friedman, scouts and coaches – were already discussing who to start in Game 1 of the American League Division Series…One bloc wanted to start Matt Moore…The other group preferred Wade Davis…Davis started and won a potential elimination game last season against the Texas Rangers, the Rays’ foes again this year. He does not throw nearly as hard as Moore. Davis’ career high in strikeouts is 10, and he has gone at least five scoreless innings in only three of his 64 major league starts…Friedman wanted Moore…Maddon wanted Davis.
Maddon does say that he was on board with Moore by the end of the meeting. And obviously starting Moore was the right decision. But we find this particularly interesting because if you told us the two sides were in disagreement, we would have guessed it was Maddon that wanted Moore and Friedman was pulling for Davis.
After all, it is Maddon that likes to take chances and isn’t afraid to use kids in high pressure situations (remember David Price in the 2008 playoffs?). And it is Friedman that believes in being patient with prospects (Desmond Jennings did have nearly 1,000 triple-A at bats).