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.
In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.
Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.
Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.