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Rays might promote Matt Moore later this month

Sep 10, 2011, 10:40 PM EDT

matt moore getty Getty Images

It appears we may get a sneak preview of baseball’s top pitching prospect before the season is through.

According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters on Saturday evening that it’s a “possibility” left-handed prospect Matt Moore could be promoted to the major leagues for a spot start later this month.

The Rays have a doubleheader on September 21 with the Yankees and will need an emergency starter the day after. Alex Torres is also being considered, but the Rays could be compelled to get a glimpse of the organization’s top overall talent.

A 22-year-old, Moore posted a 1.92 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 210/46 K/BB ratio in 155 innings this season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. There’s little doubt that he’s ready to take the next step.

  1. hittfamily - Sep 10, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    Hell, he about had to make a spot start this week. The Rays played 11 against Boston tonight, and had only “Losing Pitcher” Sonnanstine left in the bullpen. I pondered if a starter might be used, seeing as how crucial this game was.

    The Rays tried to lose this one….well Kyle Farnesworth did, the rest of the Rays were lights out. Hellickson went 6 and gave up 3 er, 2 on a mistake to Adrian Gonzalez. The pen held a 5-3 lead til Farnesworth gave up back to back shots to the 9 and 1 hitters with 1 out in the ninth. He followed those spectacular pitches with a grooved fastball to Pedroia, who smoked a double to left. With a 1-2 count on Gonzalez, he somehow managed to walk him. Maddon had seen enough, who went to a better bullpen option and got Ortiz to ground into a double play.

    Papelbon threw 7 pitches in the 9th, and 9 in the 10th. Perhaps he could have pitched the 11th, but Terry decided Bard was the man for the job. Superstar Desmond Jennings led off the 11th with a triple. Upton grounded out to first, and Longoria entered the batters box. I thought for sure he was getting walked to set up an inning ending double play. Perhaps even walk Zobes to pitch to the struggling Johnny Damon. Francona inexplicably decided to pitch to the Rays best hitter with the game on the line, and the expected outcome occured. He got Jennings home, lining a walk off single up the middle.

    Bard gave up the triple, but Francona elected to pitch to the 3/4 hitters, literally the only decent hitters in the lineup excluding Jennings, and it cost him the game. Rays are down 4.5 and excited, while the Sox are certainly feeling the pressure and getting desperate. At least I hope they are feeling the pressure. Actually as a Rays fan, I hope they arent, and keep it on cruise control.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 11, 2011 at 7:27 AM

      You should read the Boston.com comments sections on the Red Sox. They Red Sox fans are angry, scared and very restless.

  2. hittfamily - Sep 11, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    Oh yeah, this was about Moore, not the Rays sweep this weekend. I hope I dont see Moore this year. I really, really want to see him, but then I think about how pissed I am that we played Sam Fuld and Justin Ruggiano in left for 100 games before we brought Jennings up. Jennings hit a walk off homer 3 nights ago, then leads off the 11th tonight with a triple. Once again, he scored the first and last run in a Rays W. Where would we be if he had come up in May? I worry my same frustrations will be felt if Moore comes up this year. If he comes up and goes 7 with 2 earned, I will be so pissed that we didnt trade one of our 8 quality major league ready starters for some offensive help.

    I have learned to trust Friedman, but I went through this last year, when Helly was brought up, and went 3-0 in 4 starts with an ERA under 2. He then got sent right back down while Andy Flippin Sonnanstine got spot starts filling in for injured Niemann and Davis.

    Moore is a superstar. He is everything he is advertised to be. I trust Friedman and have bought into his system. I have drunk his Kool Aid, and it is delicious. But sometimes while you are enjoying your Kool Aid, the Kool Aid man bursts through your wall, and ruins your house. I trust Friedman, but often don’t agree with him. Please, for the sake of my offseason, wondering what could have been, please, let me see Matt Moore next year, and not this year!!!

    • hittfamily - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:38 AM

      Okay. I have changed my mind. After reading that Farnsworth is still dealing with arm issues, Matt Moore needs to be in our bullpen. Farnsworth was amazing this season, but when your arm hurts, you hurt the team. He gave up 3 jacks all year, then 2 tonight. Both Torres and Moore should be brought up, and become our closer combo down the stretch. Moore primarily, but I wouldn’t want him throwing 4 times a week.

      Hittfamily. You are an idiot. Bring Moore up now.

      • marinersnate - Sep 11, 2011 at 1:55 AM

        Hittfamily,

        Please explain in detail why you have changed your mind. And please give examples.

      • hittfamily - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:03 AM

        Is this a joke based on how long my posts were, or do you really want me to use examples and go into detail? Do I have to show my work? :)

      • Mark - Sep 11, 2011 at 9:07 AM

        I’ve heard rumours of the mythical Rays fan, but I’ve never seen one in their natural environment.

        Approach with caution.

  3. dailyrev - Sep 11, 2011 at 12:26 AM

    Been waiting all season long to see when the soft underbelly of the Farnsworth phenomenon would show itself. Strangely I didn’t expect it tonight, but he goes 0-2 on Salty and then starts throwing BP like Robby Cano’s Dad.

    4 in the L column now. It would be cool to see this kid pitch a meaningful game.

  4. btwicey - Sep 11, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Matt Moore is clearly ready to show what he’s got. I think he’s as close to a sure thing as the has been in a long time.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 11, 2011 at 7:29 AM

      He is certainly better than any pitching prospect on the Yankees and Red Sox.

  5. buddaley - Sep 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    A couple of points about Moore.

    1. He has already pitched 155 innings this year. Although his progression in IP over the past 3 years has been steady and slow, I imagine the Rays will be very careful about adding to the total, especially in the high pressure atmosphere of a race to the post-season, a stress factor that would be elevated if called on late in close games.

    2. While the notion that he faded a bit at the end of the year is somewhat exaggerated, he did have 2 of his worst games in his last 3 starts, including the post-season game he pitched. If the Rays think he was tiring, we can forget about him appearing in major league games.

    3. It is not automatic that starters adapt to relief roles. While Price did well in 2008, note that Hellickson was terrific when he first arrived as a starter, but failed miserably when called on to relieve. Of course, both Price and Moore are different sorts of pitchers from Hellickson, but it still requires different skills to warm up and be effective late in a game.

    In addition, Peralta has been effective for a while now and can probably fill the closer role while others fill the gaps created by the loss of Farnsworth for however long. Howell seems to have straightened out his command somewhat as he has gotten more repetitions after his long recuperation.

    • hittfamily - Sep 11, 2011 at 10:58 AM

      With all the Rays complete games, I forgot they even had a bullpen. Hellickson struggled, but it was an awfully small sample size. Price and McGee settled into the rolls though. Moore is a lefty with a high k/bb/9 rate. I don’t see Moore having much difficulty, as long as he becomes the closer. I would not feel comfortable with him rushing trying to get warm to be a mid reliever, but I would be comfortable with the Mariano Rivera approach. Let him know his role, and have as much time as he needs to get ready.

      • buddaley - Sep 11, 2011 at 8:25 PM

        I am not convinced it is wrong to call him up. I am merely pointing out that if the Rays don’t, or if they do but use him sparingly, we probably should trust their judgment about his suitability at this point in the season.

        As an aside, McGee is not a good comparison as he was being prepped to relieve while in the minors and brought up with the intention of grooming him for that role.

  6. obpedmypants - Sep 12, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    i guess 24 hours later is technically “later this month”

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