Saturday, April 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays pitcher Moore's All-Star odds improve

ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Matt Moore's path to the All-Star Game may have gotten a little bit easier.

Texas RHP Yu Darvish, one of the five starters elected to the American League team in the player vote, will be placed on the disabled list today, and Moore is a top candidate to replace him.

Manager Joe Maddon has been saying Moore (12-3, 3.42) already had a good chance to replace one of the three All-Stars scheduled to start for their teams Sunday, and Darvish's injury creates a potential fourth opening. Moore goes for win No. 13 today, and there hasn't been a pitcher with 13 wins not make the All-Star Game since 1985, when Atlanta's Rick Mahler was left out at 13-7, 3.27.

Moore's first concern today will be getting ready for the unusually early 12:10 start. "I like to be up at least three hours before the game, and waking up at 9 every day sometimes can be a challenge for me," he said, every bit of 24.

BATTING AROUND: 3B Evan Longoria has gone a career-long 14 games without an extra-base hit and is in a 6-for-44 skid.

Maddon said he didn't think it was related to the plantar fascia issue in Longoria's right foot, simply a slump.

"He's expanded a little more recently, he's just outside of his zone a bit. That's what I'm seeing as the biggest difference,'' Maddon said.

MYERS IN: Rookie OF Wil Myers was back in the lineup after sitting out Tuesday to work out some issues in his swing, singling in his first at-bat. Maddon also believes it can benefit a young player just to watch a major-league game from the dugout. Myers said it was an interesting perspective, having only been to three games as a spectator. "It was really cool obviously to have some good seats here," he said.

ALEX THE GREAT: LHP Alex Torres got through his first back-to-back relief appearances with no issues, further increasing his role. "It was great to see and there definitely was no loss of stuff," Maddon said. Torres was off Wednesday but is available today. … Torres has been delivering before the game also, taking out the lineup card for all seven wins (with an assist from 3B coach Tom Foley Sunday). Maddon rotates the duty, and if the Rays win they keep going. "There's a little pot of gold at the end of that rainbow," Maddon said. "There's a stipend coming to that person if they get a 10-game winning streak."

REHAB REPORT: RHP Alex Cobb, improving steadily since being hit in the head by a line drive, is scheduled to throw his third bullpen session today with a fourth likely Sunday then progressing to facing hitters. … RHP Brandon Gomes, out since early May with a lat strain, is also to throw a bullpen with hopes of starting another minor-league rehab assignment during the All-Star break.

WORKING IT OUT: The Rays will have a voluntary post All-Star break workout at the Trop on July 18, though limited to taking ground balls on the infield and hitting in the cages, with pitchers throwing off bullpen mounds, due to a home show that opens the next day.

"I just wanted them to come out here and I wanted to talk about a couple things before we get on the airplane," Maddon said. "Hopefully everybody will be able to make it."

The Rays originally had planned to work out in Toronto, but the Rogers Centre isn't available.

MISCELLANY: Sun Sports is not televising today's game. … At 13 innings and 4:47, Wednesday was the second-longest game of the season. … The Astros will start prospect RHP Jarred Cosart on Friday followed by LHPs Dallas Keuchel and Erik Bedard. … The Rays on the Runway fashion show benefiting the Children's Dream Fund is tonight at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. Ticket sales were to end this morning. Call (727) 896-6390.

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