ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Matt Moore played catch Sunday morning at Tropicana Field, throwing 25 to 30 times from 60 feet as he eyes a mid-August return to the rotation.
Moore has been on the 15-day disabled list since last Wednesday (retroactive to last Monday) with left elbow soreness. The injury was noticeable in the second inning of his latest start July 28 against the New York Yankees when he threw change-ups during a no-decision in a Rays loss at Yankee Stadium. Moore did not inform manager Joe Maddon about the pain until leaving the game after five innings.
Moore described the throws Sunday as “real light, conservative tosses.” He said he will travel with Tampa Bay on its upcoming road trip against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers from Aug. 6-11.
“Just getting the glove on my hand and throwing the ball feels good,” said Moore, named to his first All-Star team in July. “The effort I was putting into it — it wasn’t going to be one of those things where I was testing it.”
Moore said he does not know plans for possible bullpen sessions or a simulated game. The Rays are optimistic that the first DL stint of his career will be brief, with manager Joe Maddon saying that Moore could return after the upcoming West Coast swing.
Maddon has said he does not anticipate that rehab starts will be necessary.
“I do believe that he can be over with it the moment he goes through this little rehab,” Maddon said last Wednesday. “I believe it can go away … Everything sets up to the point where let’s just back off. The schedule is in our favor. Theoretically, he may miss one start and get back after the road trip and everything will be cool at that point.”
Moore said he plans to play catch again Monday and throw from 75 feet. He is 14-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 21 starts this season.