Monday, December 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Matt Moore convinced surgery is the best option

BALTIMORE — LHP Matt Moore is confident the Tommy John surgery he is having next week eventually will make his left elbow feel better. He just had to be sure he felt it was the right thing to do before deciding Monday to proceed.

And he said that when he opened his eyes Tuesday, he knew it was.

"I don't think that there was a whole lot of hesitation when I woke up (Tuesday) morning," he said. "I knew I wasn't dreaming. It wasn't like, 'Do I really want to do this?' "

The surgery, to be performed Tuesday by noted specialist Dr. James Andrews and considered highly successful, will sideline Moore 12-15 months.

After leaving the April 7 game, Moore wanted to get several opinions and try throwing one more time Monday afternoon — though admitting it was probably at best a 10 percent chance he'd be better — before agreeing that the discomfort he felt on his fastball and curve, in addition to the previously troublesome changeup, was evidence enough that surgery was inevitable to repair a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.

"I think it was probably a little bit for me mentally as far as heading into a surgery to know that it was on every single pitch," he said.

Moore, who missed a month last season with elbow issues, said he felt the most severe discomfort during the April 7 game, but executive vice president Andrew Friedman said it's unclear how progressive the situation was. "It's safe to assume it didn't just all happen in Kansas City that night, but it's really hard to kind of put all the pieces of the puzzle together," he said.

Moore said he is "in a transition phase" as far as accepting that he won't be able to help on the field and has to channel his competitiveness into rehab.

RAINED OUT: The decision to postpone Tuesday's game seemed obvious all day given the bad weather, though the Orioles waited until around 5:20. They also floated the idea of playing a doubleheader today — when temps are forecast to top out at 51 — but cooler, or actually warmer, heads prevailed, and the makeup date will be set most likely during the Rays' June or August visits.

Given the cold, rainy conditions, the Rays decided mid afternoon (much to the surprise of O's manager Buck Showalter, apparently) to switch starters from RHP Jake Odorizzi — who was feeling better after being sick Monday — to RH reliever Brandon Gomes. Manager Joe Maddon said that a crew of relievers was better equipped to handle a game that may be delayed, and stopped and started, and that given their rotation issues they didn't want to risk burning a starter for a short outing. He cited the problems they had after a similar situation in Cleveland last year.

They moved Odorizzi back to today's matinee and LHP David Price to Thursday's opener of a four-game series at the Trop against the Yankees. Maddon said they will decide the rest from there, with LHP Erik Bedard or LHP Cesar Ramos starting Friday, the other probably Sunday and RHP Chris Archer breaking up the lefties Saturday.

PRAYERS FOR ZIM: Senior adviser Don Zimmer, 83, is set to have heart surgery today to repair a leaky valve. Zimmer has been dealing with a number of health issues, including shortness of breath and fatigue. He was wearing oxygen tubes during his appearance at the March 31 opener.

MISCELLANY: RHP Jeremy Hellickson's first mound session post-elbow surgery has been pushed back a few days. … RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo (on the DL after reporting late to camp) will be reevaluated after one more Triple-A rehab appearance Thursday. …Durham OF Mikie Mahtook, a 2011 first-round pick, reached based in 12 straight plate appearances (11 hits and a walk) over three games. … The Rays have lost back-to-back games by six or more for the first time since June 2012.



Comments
Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

Rays’ trade silence likely a short-lived phenomenon

LAKE BUENA VISTA — There were a lot of reasons the Rays didn’t start the process of trading some of their bigger-name, higher-paid players at last week’s winter meetings.Most obvious was them not finding the just-right deal to move closer Alex Colome...
Published: 12/16/17
No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

No big deal for Rays at winter meetings, but it’s still coming

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Here’s the one thing we definitely know:Rays officials headed home from the winter meetings and back across I-4 Thursday without making deals to trade any of their bigger-name, higher-paid players. Not closer Alex Colome, not third...
Published: 12/14/17
Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

Are Tampa Bay Rays going to make a major deal involving Alex Colome, others? Well …

UPDATE, 4:02: It doesn't sound like the Rays and Cardinals will be making a deal today, Derrick Goold writing for the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Cardinals execs "leave the Walt Disney Dolphin resort with good feel for what Tampa Bay would be willin...
Published: 12/14/17
Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

Rays re-sign pitcher Jonny Venters, among 13 invited to spring training

LAKE BUENA VISTA — LHP Jonny Venters got as far as Triple A in September. Now the former All-Star is positioned to make it all the way back to the majors for the first time since 2012, re-signing with the Rays and headlining Thursday’s announcement o...
Published: 12/14/17
Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Veteran Jonny Venters, prospect Joe McCarthy among 13 Tampa Bay Rays spring invitees

Inspiring veteran LHP Jonny Venters and intriguing prospect 1B/OF Joe McCarthy are among 13 players invited to major-league spring training camp with the Rays.Others coming as a result of signing minor-league contracts with invites are: RHP R.J. Alan...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

Tampa Bay Rays lose RHP Burch Smith in Rule 5 draft, keep Nick Ciuffo

The Rays lost RHP Burch Smith in Thursday's Rule 5 draft but were happy to see him get an opportunity in Kansas City.They also were pleased to hang on to C Nick Ciuffo, who was left exposed but not selected.Smith, 27, was acquired from the Padres as ...
Published: 12/14/17
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 4

UPDATE, 11:09: RHP Steve Cishek, who was a very effective addition to the Rays pen last season, has reunited with pitching coach Jim Hickey, agreeing to a deal with the Cubs.UPDATE, 10:40: Like most teams, Rays officials are heading out of the meetin...
Published: 12/14/17
Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

Disney-Fox deal gives ESPN control of local cable rights to Rays, Lightning games

As part of its deal to buy a massive package of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney will acquire Fox Sports Regional Networks, which control the local cable rights to a slew of professional teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning.Assu...
Published: 12/14/17
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Published: 12/13/17

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Published: 12/13/17