Matt Moore set to face live hitters for the first time since his Tommy John elbow surgery

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From Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune …

Matt Moore said he will have an extra skip in his step today when he heads to Tropicana Field, and for good reason. He is pitching his first round of live batting practice since his Tommy John surgery April 22, 2014.

Moore is scheduled throw around 20 pitches to his Tampa Bay teammates before their series finale on Sunday afternoon against the Orioles. He’ll continue making simulated appearances for the next several weeks and then embark on what will likely be a lengthy minor league rehab assignment. If he can avoid setbacks, the 25-year-old lefty should become an option for the Rays’ rotation near late June or early July.

“It kind of feels like, I don’t want to say the worst is behind us, but I think a lot of those fears of re-injuring something (are gone),” Moore told Mooney on Saturday. “I feel pretty confident right now.”

Moore owns a 3.53 ERA and 339 strikeouts in 347 career major league innings.