ANAHEIM, Calif. — Matt Moore is scheduled to take the mound tonight against the Angels for the first time since he faced the Yankees on July 28 in the Bronx.
He will have missed 37 days, which is a huge chunk even in a lengthy baseball season. And the Tampa Bay Rays struggled with Moore on the disabled list with a sore left elbow, going 12-17 in the first 29 games after Moore was officially placed on the DL on July 31.
So not having Moore available every fifth day hurt. But there is a silver lining to the injury.
Moore resumes his season with 121 1/3 innings on that left arm — a far fewer number than he would have had he made the seven starts he missed with his injury.
“I think it was time for my elbow to kind of calm down and it also gave me time to let other things in my body that over the course of the season get sore, kind of time for me to train a little harder than I normally would in season, because I didn’t have that workload every fifth day,” Moore said. “So I think getting back out there, hopefully some of that pays off.”
The same can be said for David Price, who missed 44 days with a left triceps strain, and Alex Cobb, who missed 50 days while recovering from a concusion.
Price has thrown 144 1/3 innings this season. Cobb has pitched 108 1/3 innings.
“I think they’re all in pretty good shape,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “When it comes down to the starters, the guy I’m most concerned about is (Chris) Archer because he’s starting to move up into that uncharted territories innings pitched as well as being young in this moment, being inexperienced in this moment.”
Archer has thrown 102 1/3 innings with the Rays prior to Monday’s start against the Angels. Add the 50 innings he threw at Triple-A Durham before his June 1 promotion and Archer easily will exceed his total innings pitched during any of his first seven professional seasons.
Maddon said that isn’t cause for much concern since Archer’s workload this season won’t exceed the 20 percent limit the Rays imposse on their pitchers, meaning they don’t want the innings pitched to exceed more than 20 percent of the innings pitched the previous year.
With that in mind, Maddon said he is still going to keep a watchful eye on Archer’s workload this month since they expect him to be part of a postseason rotation.
“I think if I can do anything about controlling the number of pitches he throws in a game, be more aware of that,” Maddon said. “But we haven’t talked about shutting him down at all.”