Matt Moore is nearing a return from Tommy John surgery

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Rays starting pitchers have been dropping like flies all season, but left-hander Matt Moore is making steady progress in his return from Tommy John elbow surgery last April.

Moore made his second minor-league rehab start Tuesday, throwing four shutout innings at Single-A with four strikeouts and one walk. He threw 64 pitches, suggesting he could be just a couple more rehab starts from more or less being fully stretched out for a return to the Rays’ rotation.

Moore told Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune that he was “very happy” with how everything felt and his overall progress.

Prior to being shut down after just two starts last season Moore had emerged as one of the best young pitchers in baseball with a 3.53 ERA and 339 strikeouts in 347 innings through age 25.