Matt Moore struggles in rehab start before return next week

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Tampa Bay’s plan for Matt Moore was to have him make a minor-league rehab start last night at Triple-A and then come off the disabled list to rejoin the rotation Tuesday after a month on the sidelines with an elbow injury.

That may still be the plan, but Moore allowed four runs on eight hits in four innings for Durham last night, striking out two and walking two.

However, the good news according to Eric Single of MLB.com is that Moore reached 95-96 miles per hour with his fastball and the 23-year-old All-Star didn’t seem worried about his tune-up performance. Before the injury Moore was 14-3 with a 3.41 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 121 innings, so the Rays’ chances of making the playoffs and making a deep postseason run depend an awful lot on the health of his left elbow.

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”