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)

Rays Tales: More on Moore

Matt Moore was supposed to be the next big thing. But then he did so well, and the Rays got so close to a playoff spot, that the timetable got accelerated. So he's here now, and the 22-year-old brings more than blazing heat.

Stats

Yr. Team/level W-L ERA G IP H BB K

'07 Princeton/rookie 0-0 2.66 8 20.1 12 16 29

'08 Princeton/rookie 2-2 1.66 12 54.1 30 19 77

'09 Bowling Green/A 8-5 3.15 26 123 86 70 176

'10 Charlotte/Adv. A 6-11 3.36 26 144.2 109 61 208

'11 Montgomery/AA 8-3 2.20 18 102.1 68 28 131

Durham/AAA 4-0 1.37 9 52.2 33 18 70

Rays 0-0 6.23 2 4.1 5 2 4

The details

Name: Matthew Cody Moore

Born: 6-18-89, Fort Walton Beach

Lives: Edgewood, N.M. (about an hour east of Albuquerque)

High School: Moriarty

Drafted: 8th round, 2007 (245th overall)

A little help from a friend

Moore's blazing four-seam fastball is a gift, a product of his natural ability. His circle changeup the result of his work and the urging and insistence of the Rays coaches. But the killer curveball that makes it all work? He thanks Jordan Pacheco, a rookie C/1B with the Rockies.

Pacheco was an area prep star who then played with Moore's older brother, Bobby, at the University of New Mexico. When Matt was up visiting during his senior year of high school, they started playing catch and throwing their curves, and Matt asked Jordan to show him his grip, which is essentially a spike curve, with one finger on top.

"I saw him play all through high school and he had this nasty hook, and I didn't have that," Moore said. "So it would have been dumb of me not to see what he was doing. And the pitch took off for me."

Moore hasn't exactly returned the favor: He has faced Pacheco — who was just called up by the Rockies for the first time — twice in the minors, breaking his bat once and striking him out. "He's going to be looking for some revenge," Moore said. "We joke about that."

By any name

For now, the Rays pitcher is at best the second most famous Matt Moore. No. 1 is the quarterback who played four seasons with the Panthers and is now with the Dolphins. There's also a rising rocker and an internationally known graphic artist/designer. Though the QB Moore (who attended the same California high school as James Shields) played baseball well enough to get drafted by the Angels in 2004, the LHP Moore played football only through junior high, and was a fullback and defensive end. He can only throw a small football: "If you put an NFL football in my hands, it's garbage. It's quack-quack. If it's undersized I can get it to spiral pretty good."

A message in ink

The large tattoo on Moore's left shoulder bears meaning: "I'm a Catholic, and it's the patron saint of battle, St. Michael. That was my sponsor saint when I was confirmed, and it's kind of symbolic as far as the game goes — that it's a battle out there, and that's kind of how it all ties together for me. And there's not just the battle of baseball but the battle of life."

Hey aren't you …

Moore hasn't been mistaken for the other Matts but does hear some chatter about his resemblance to actor Adrian Grenier, above, who happens to play the lead role in his favorite show, Entourage. "I get a Vinny Chase kind of thing, a couple of comparisons of looked and features," Moore said.

From an enchanted land

Moore was born in Fort Walton Beach, his father a 23-year man in the Air Force, then lived four years in Japan (though attending an American school) and moved to New Mexico when he was 11. That's a state not known for baseball, producing fewer big-leaguers than all but Alaska, Montana and Wyoming. Most successful was Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner. More famous than baseball players? Auto racers Al and Bobby Unser. Actor Demi Moore. Singer John Denver (who knew?)

Rays rumblings

With the renamed Miami Marlins playing a one-game series to open their new stadium, wouldn't the Rays have been a more logical guest than the Cardinals? … Related, the Rays could consider the now-available Florida first name. Maybe in a new stadium? … Mlbtraderumors.com ranks Casey Kotchman the second-best minor-league contract deal of the year, behind the Yankees' Bartolo Colon. … Ex-Rays Fernando Perez and Rocco Baldelli are talking about forming a band. … ESPN's Buster Olney says James Shields is "probably running a strong third" in the AL Cy Young race. … CF B.J. Upton told Washington's WTOP that if he can't stay with the Rays as preferred, "it would be kind of cool to play close to home" with the Nats. … Did principal owner Stuart Sternberg mean exec VP Andrew Friedman was "a partner" in the philosophical sense, or is an ownership share of the team part of a package to keep him? … Other obvious issues with the 2012 schedule: Sending the Rays on a mid-April trip to cold-weather Detroit, Boston and Toronto; and to the West Coast twice in less than three weeks in late July/early August.

Got a minute? Matt Moore

Must-see TV? Entourage.

Big-night out meal? Ruth's Chris. I've only had it twice, but I really like it.

Singer or band you'd want to be on stage with? I like rock, so maybe Metallica back in the day.

Worst job? Pushing carts and stacking groceries at John Brooks (supermarket) for $5.15 an hour.

Dream date? If (actor) Jordana Brewster is out there reading this …

What's next?

As impressive of a season as Moore had — 12-3, 1.92, 210 Ks in 155 minor-league innings — he likely won't open next season in the majors. The Rays tend to be conservative (and successful) in their handling of pitchers, and since he had only a little more than a month at Triple A he seems headed back there, much like David Price was in 2009. (There's also service time/financial benefits for the Rays to wait.) Plus, pending what the Rays do in the offseason, there's no room for him, if they bring back the current five starters plus Alex Cobb will be healthy.

Rays Tales: More on Moore 09/17/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 17, 2011 7:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays looking to get even with Angels, with no TV

    Blogs

    The Rays are looking for a split in the four-game series with the Angels in today's 1:10 matinee, a game that is not on TV in the Tampa Bay market.

    RHP Matt Andriese will start for the Rays, seeking to go deeper than his last start, when he was ejected after hitting New York's Aaron Judge with his first pitch …

    Matt Andriese will start for the Rays.
  2. It's official: Bucs, Jaguars set joint practices for August

    Blogs

    It's been reported for some time, but the Bucs announced Thursday that they'll hold two joint practices with the Jaguars in Jacksonville on Aug. 14-15.

    Bucs running back Charles Sims runs against the Jaguars in a preseason game last year. The two teams had joint practice last year and will again in August.
  3. Florida Gators to host South Alabama in 2020

    Blogs

    The Florida Gators will host South Alabama in 2020, UF announced Thursday morning.

  4. Bishop McLaughlin defies expectations in getting back to state

    Baseballpreps

    SHADY HILLS — For the second time in three seasons, Bishop McLaughlin is one of the four best teams in Class 3A, but this Hurricane team couldn't be more different than its predecessor.

    Pitcher Dominic Diaz warms up his arm in practice at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School in Spring Hill, Florida on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  5. Bucs to add linebacker from Germany for 2017 practice squad

    Blogs

    The Bucs will be part of a new NFL program this fall that will grant an 11th practice squad slot to an overseas player, with German-born Eric Nzeocha, a linebacker who played at the University of Wyoming, slated to join Tampa Bay's roster for the 2017 season.

    Wyoming linebacker Eric Nzeocha, 24, will be an 11th member of the Bucs' practice squad in 2017 as part of a program to bring more international players to the NFL. He was born in Germany but played in college at Wyoming.