Here’s the tweet from the Rays manager:
Like to use Matt Moore kinda like we did with Price in 08. Let’s see if history can repeat itself. The games will dictate how we use him.
David Price was probably baseball’s top pitching prospect when he came up in mid-September 2008 and posted a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings down the stretch. Now the Rays are going to see if Moore can do the same thing.
Price actually made one start in September, and his debut appearance lasted 5 1/3 innings in relief of an ineffective Edwin Jackson. It’s safe to say Moore won’t be following Price in throwing 14 innings over the final three weeks of the season.
However, if the Rays can get by the Red Sox and into the postseason, it’s entirely possible Moore could have a Price-like impact in October. Price made five appearances against the Red Sox and the Phillies in his first postseason. He allowed two runs — one earned — in 5 2/3 innings and picked up a win and a save in the process.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.
Update (4:43 PM ET): In response to this, Manfred said that if a catcher or coach made a seventh mound visit, there would have to be a pitching change (via Fletcher). However, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said (via SB Nation’s Eric Stephen) that the seventh visit cannot trigger a pitching change. The umpire would simply have to prevent the seventh mound visit.