Rays manager Kevin Cash recently hinted that Matt Moore was set to make his return from Tommy John surgery this week, but now it’s all but official. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Moore will be activated to start Thursday afternoon against the Indians at Tropicana Field.
Moore, who had Tommy John surgery last April, posted a 2.95 ERA and 24/8 K/BB ratio in 21 1/3 innings over five minor league rehab starts between High-A Charlotte and Triple-A Durham. The final step was a 35-pitch bullpen session today, after which the southpaw said that he’s “definitely ready to go.”
Moore, 26, owns a 3.53 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 over 61 starts and two relief appearances in the majors. We could see some ups and downs after surgery, especially given his past control issues, but this is a welcome addition for a rotation that has had to get by without Alex Cobb and Drew Smyly.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays announced that right-hander Alex Cobb underwent successful Tommy John surgery on his right elbow today.
The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews. Cobb was initially diagnosed with forearm tendinitis in March, but he suffered a full tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow while rehabbing the injury. He was given a platelet-rich plasma injection in hopes of avoiding surgery, but his season is now officially over and he’ll likely be out of the mix until late in the 2016 season.
Drew Smyly was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left shoulder earlier this week and could also need season-ending surgery, so these losses are going to be very tough for the Rays to overcome. Matt Moore is nearing a minor league rehab assignment as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery, but command is often the last thing to return and he averaged 4.3 BB/9 in the majors prior to the procedure.
On the same day they announced that right-hander Alex Cobb will undergo season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery the Rays also placed left-hander Drew Smyly back on the disabled list with shoulder soreness.
Smyly began the season on the DL with shoulder tendinitis, returning on April 24 to make three starts with a 2.70 ERA and 21/3 K/BB ratio in 17 innings to show the same type of top-of-the-rotation upside he displayed after the Rays acquired him from the Tigers in last year’s David Price trade.
Smyly was scheduled to start Sunday, but Kelly Parsons of the Tampa Bay Times reports that “he was having trouble getting loose between innings in his last start” on May 5.
Reds starter Homer Bailey underwent Tommy John surgery along with teammate Matt Magill on Friday, MLB.com’s John Fay reports. Bailey had surgery in September to repair a tear in his flexor tendon and made his 2015 season debut on April 18, but only made it two starts before returning to the disabled list. Bailey will likely be out until midseason in 2016.
Bailey, 29, is in the second year of a six-year, $105 million contract extension with the Reds. He finished with a 3.71 ERA and a 124/45 K/BB ratio in 145 2/3 innings last season.
Bailey is the 17th major league pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery since the beginning of the year, according to data collected by Jon Roegele of The Hardball Times. Six pitchers, including Bailey and Magill now, have had the procedure in the last two weeks. The others are Alex Cobb, Adam Ottavino, Brandon McCarthy, and Joe Nathan.
Earlier this week there was some talk of Alex Cobb trying the rest-and-rehab route after an MRI exam showed a torn elbow ligament, but the Rays announced that the 27-year-old right-hander has decided to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Cobb has been on the disabled list all season after experiencing forearm discomfort during spring training, but initial tests by the Rays were said to show no structural damage. Now he’s unlikely to be a factor in Tampa Bay again until at least the second half of next season.
It’s a huge loss for the Rays, as Cobb posted a sub-3.00 ERA in each of the past two seasons and has a 3.21 ERA in 499 career innings. Chris Archer, Drew Smyly, and Jake Odorizzi are still around to headline the Rays’ talented young rotation and they’re hoping to get All-Star left-hander Matt Moore back from his own Tommy John surgery soon.