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 play it safe with prized rookie Matt Moore

PORT CHARLOTTE — LHP Matt Moore said it wasn't a big deal and he already was feeling better. Manager Joe Maddon said he wouldn't even consider it a setback.

But the reality was that Moore, the talented 22-year-old left-hander, was forced to miss his scheduled batting practice session Monday due to what the Rays called "a mild lower abdominal strain."

Maddon said head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield was just being overly cautious — "Just being Ronnie" — and Moore said it was "a possibility" he could be back on the mound as soon as Wednesday.

Moore first felt the discomfort during his Friday bullpen session, centered just below his belly button but not restricting his movements. "It feels like a sore muscle," he said. "Like if you had a sore hamstring."

The Rays were concerned enough to limit Moore to playing catch at 60 feet on Saturday and 75 on Sunday, then have him rest Monday, but not enough to have him have an MRI exam.

"I don't feel like it's a major setback just because I told (the training staff) and I threw the next couple days," Moore said. "If it was something major I would have shut it down and just been like, 'Hey, this is it for right now.' … In the last couple of days it seems to already be getting better."

Maddon said the delay would not have any impact on Moore being ready to start the regular season.

"I don't anticipate it being a long time before Matt gets out there, and I don't consider it a setback at all," he said. "I don't see any issues at all right now. It sounds pretty benign from what they're telling me."

PRICE VS. TWINS: LHP David Price will start Saturday's exhibition opener against the Twins in Fort Myers. The Rays will use a six-man rotation through the spring, Maddon said, allowing them to get all of their top candidates — James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann, Moore and Price — fully stretched out, then sort out which five will open the season as starters.

PITCHING IN: LHP J.P. Howell was among the pitchers who stood out during the live batting practice sessions, specifically with the movement on his pitches. "I don't know there was any moment last year he threw the ball that well as I saw" Monday, Maddon said.

Also impressing were RHPs Fernando Rodney, the veteran free-agent addition; Dane De La Rosa, the 29-year-old rookie who debuted last season; and Ricky Orta, a 27-year-old who missed the past two seasons recovering from elbow surgery. "I can't be thankful enough," Orta said.

RHP Brandon Gomes, coming off lower back surgery, had a bullpen session Monday, with another scheduled Wednesday before throwing his first batting practice Saturday.

FIELD WORK: Maddon praised the position players for their intensity during bunt defense and other drills, saying, "It may be Feb. 27, but I promise you on like July 3 if you don't have it down it's going to make a big difference in that game."

MISCELLANY: Regular-season individual game tickets went on sale Monday at all outlets, including the Tropicana Field box office, team Tampa store and Ticketmaster. … Principal owner Stuart Sternberg is expected at camp today. … Thursday's 11 a.m. intrasquad game will not be open to the public. … LHP Dave LaPoint, who pitched for the Cardinals and eight other teams in a 12-year big-league career, was a Monday guest.

Tampa Bay Rays play it safe with prized rookie Matt Moore 02/27/12 [Last modified: Monday, February 27, 2012 7:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.