Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Moore excited to make first career big-league spring training appearance

PORT CHARLOTTE — Matt Moore makes his spring debut with an unusual distinction.

He has a regular-season win and a playoffs victory on his resume, but today in Sarasota will be the first time he'll pitch in a big-league spring training game.

"When you put it like that," Moore acknowledged, "it does sound a little funny."

Moore made his rapid rise to the majors last season without the benefit of attending major-league camp. And his first appearance was delayed until today in Sarasota due to a mild abdominal strain that kept him off the mound for eight days.

"It's exciting," he said.

Moore will work an inning or two in relief of David Price, who is scheduled for four as he overcame his towel-induced stiff neck to stay on schedule.

The Rays are confident that Moore, 22, can make up the lost time and be ready to start the season on time. He said all he will be focused on today is getting on the mound. "To get out there and to get into the games and start to contribute and get ready for the season is something I've been looking forward to since I've been coming back from this little hiccup," he said.

FIRST CUTS: In addition to optioning starting pitching prospects Chris Archer, Alex Cobb and Alex Torres to the minors, the Rays reassigned 1B Juan Miranda, RHP Ricky Orta (who has had a sore shoulder) and Cs Nevin Ashley and Mark Thomas, reducing the spring roster to 52.

SHIELDS UP: Opening day starter RHP James Shields worked four innings in Monday's 2-1, 10-inning loss to the Twins, throwing 49 pitches of primary fastballs and changeups (and no curveballs) in his second spring outing.

"Got some good work in out there," Shields said. "I'm definitely progressing the way I want to progress."

Manager Joe Maddon said he thought Shields "was very sharp and looked very comfortable."

FARNSWORTH, TOO: RHP Kyle Farnsworth worked an eventful inning in his spring debut, allowing two hits, including a comebacker he missed then followed with an ungraceful dive and throwing error, a sequence he summed up as "awful."

Overall he was pleased with his pitching, not quite cutting loose as his fastball topped out at about 93-94 mph. "Just trying to get the first one underneath your belt and throw strikes," he said.

The Rays want to limit him to about eight appearances, which is why he didn't pitch until Monday. "You only have so many bullets and spring training's long enough," he said.

GAME DETAILS: The Rays (3-7-1) led 1-0 on Desmond Jennings' third-inning RBI single, but the Twins tied it on Farnsworth's fifth-inning throwing error and went ahead when Luke Hughes homered off prospect Albert Suarez in the 10th. … C Jose Lobaton had a double but also a throwing error. … SS Elliot Johnson made an impressive play. … INF Jeff Keppinger had a single to hike his average to .400, Maddon saying "he has had nothing but good at-bats."

MISCELLANY: INF Sean Rodriguez's sprained left index finger improved enough for him to take batting practice and he is likely to play today. … The Rays took a look at their likely alignment against lefty starters, with Keppinger at second base and Ben Zobrist moving to rightfield.

Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Moore excited to make first career big-league spring training appearance 03/12/12 [Last modified: Monday, March 12, 2012 10:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …