ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Matt Moore took a positive step Sunday in his recovery from left elbow soreness.
The Tampa Bay Rays left-hander played catch with head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield in right field at Tropicana Field, throwing 55 times from about 75 feet with pitching coach Jim Hickey looking on. Moore said he plans to play catch again Monday, perhaps increasing the distance to 90 feet.
“It was great,” Moore said. “It went exactly like we wanted it to. We played easy catch and worked in a little bit of arm speed, and it felt good.”
Moore has been on the disabled list with the soreness since July 31, retroactive to July 29, after feeling the sensation during a five-inning start against the New York Yankees on July 28 at Yankee Stadium. There was some thought that he could make a start during the three-game series this weekend against the Toronto Blue Jays, but his schedule was adjusted after a 55-pitch bullpen session Wednesday when he struggled with comfort and command.
The Rays have not called Moore’s situation a setback, but it’s clear they are using caution with the 24-year-old, who was named to his first All-Star team in July. He is 14-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 21 starts this season.
“It feels good,” Moore said. “After three days off, it’s kind of weird not to call it a setback. But at the same time, we were at that place where we were on our way back and took a couple days off. So it does feel good to kind of pick up where I was four days ago.”