In another organization, Matt Moore would likely already have arrived in the majors. The 22-year-old was dominant right from the start in Double-A this year, going 8-3 with a 2.2o ERA and a 131/28 K/BB ratio in 102 1/3 innings.
The Rays, though, are probably more cautious with their pitching prospects than any club in baseball. And it’s worked for them. They could have called on Moore when Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis went down, but they kept him in Double-A and only recently promoted him to Triple-A Durham.
Moore, meanwhile, has gone about his business without complaint. He struck out 10 and walked none in another win for Durham on Sunday. In four starts in the International League, he’s gone 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA and a 39/5 K/BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings.
The Rays again have an opening for Moore with Alex Cobb landing on the disabled list over the weekend due to numbness in his pitching hand. Still, Cobb was the sixth man in a six-man rotation, and the Rays were looking to return to five starters anyway. Besides, especially now that they’re 10 games back in the wild card, they may decide against giving Moore a look this year.
That’d be a shame, because the left-hander is probably the best pitching prospect in the minors at the moment and it’d be fun to see what he could do against AL East competition. He’ll get his opportunity next season, but perhaps not in April or May. Even discounting the financial incentives for holding prospects back. the Rays believe in taking their time with young pitchers. Of course, they can only hold him back so long. By 2013, David Price and Moore could form one of the game’s best one-two punches in the game.
Double plays come in an assortment of combinations, from the standard 6-4-3 combo to some more unusual patterns. During the Mets’ 5-3 win over the Nationals on Saturday, however, what made this double play strange was less the product of an unorthodox route and almost entirely due to an unexpected collision on the basepaths instead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, with the Mets trailing 1-0, Zack Wheeler caught Jose Lobaton swinging for strike three. Mets’ backstop Travis d'Arnaud fired the ball to second base, where the ball slipped out of Asdrubal Cabrera‘s glove as Jayson Werth slid into the bag for a stolen base. Second baseman Neil Walker fielded the ball in shallow center field, then tossed it to third base, and Jose Reyes tagged Werth easily for the second out of the play.
The Mets complimented their defensive efforts with a strong showing at the plate, reclaiming the lead with three home runs from Michael Conforto and Jose Reyes to clinch their tenth win of the year.
It’s been a miserable weekend for Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton, who stumbled over first base and injured his leg while running out an infield single in Friday’s 7-5 loss to the Mets. While the team officially placed the outfielder on the 10-day disabled list with a left knee strain on Saturday, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Eaton has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017 season. The team has yet to confirm the diagnosis or announce a definite timetable for the 28-year-old’s return, perhaps due to extended evaluations by Eaton’s orthopedic doctor:
The Nationals appear to have several outfield options with Eaton on the disabled list, though they have not pinned down a long-term solution. Center fielder Michael Taylor replaced Eaton on the field during the tail end of Friday’s game, and returned on Saturday to man center and bat second in the lineup. The club also promoted top outfield prospect Rafael Bautista, who slashed .291/.325/.354 with five doubles and a .680 OPS through 19 games in Triple-A Syracuse this season. He’ll assume Eaton’s roster spot and looks to be available for a backup role in the outfield going forward.