Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Matt Moore impressing early in Rays camp

PORT CHARLOTTE — One of the early positives this spring has been the strong showing by LHP Matt Moore, who looks as strong and sharp as how he ended the season.

"I don't really see anything drastically different," manager Kevin Cash said. "If he maintains that type of stuff and command, he's going to have a good year."

Moore has been sharp and healthy in bullpen sessions and took it into a live batting practice session Saturday, breaking OF Mikie Mahtook's bat in the process.

"He threw the ball really well," Cash said. "I just think we're excited to see him out there. That's a huge piece that wasn't there last spring."

After a rough initial return from Tommy John elbow surgery in July, Moore went back to Triple A then returned to finish strong, including a 2-0 record and 1.35 ERA in his last four starts.

PITCHING IN: RHP Jake Odorizzi is in line to start Wednesday's exhibition opener against the Nationals. It's hard to read much into that since the Rays have three off days and a planned trip to Cuba during the spring, but on a five-day schedule he would be lined up to pitch third in the rotation, presumably behind RHP Chris Archer and either Moore or LHP Drew Smyly.

Odorizzi felt good throwing his first live batting practice session Saturday, even at an unusually early time due to the abbreviated workout. "My arm felt lively for 9:05, honestly," he said. "I was kind of surprised at how fresh I felt that early."

FAMILIAR FACES: Saturday's Fan Fest was a hit, with an estimated crowd of 16,000 and nearly $80,000 raised for charity.

Though Archer, CF Kevin Kiermaier and 3B Evan Longoria were the bigger draws, nonroster RHP Ryan Garton, who grew up in North Pinellas and the Trinity area, had his own fan "club" of youth league pals and classmates from Mitchell High. Garton, 26, has worked his way up to Double-A Montgomery since being a 34th-round pick in 2012.

MISCELLANY: There is still no set date for OF Steven Souza Jr. (intercostal strain) to return. … Cash said having the Fan Fest during full-squad workouts "puts a little wrinkle in the day, but that's okay — we'll adjust to help the good people at the ballpark."

Matt Moore impressing early in Rays camp 02/27/16 [Last modified: Saturday, February 27, 2016 10:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  2. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  3. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

    Twitter
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi had to battle without his best stuff again, which is becoming a more common occurrence, leading to long at-bats — including 13 pitches to Kennys Vargas in the fifth — and running up his pitch count to 118 without finishing the sixth.