Tampa Bay Rays fans awoke this morning to the disappointing news that All-Star pitcher Matt Moore has elected to have Tommy John surgery and will be out for at least one year. Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times broke the news:
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 15, 2014
Moore left his start last week against Kansas City after 4 1/3 innings with discomfort in his left elbow. It was later revealed that he had a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, leaving two options for treatment (extensive rehab and rest OR going under the knife). After experiencing further discomfort during a throwing session off of the mound yesterday, he announced his plans to move forward with the surgery following last night’s loss to the Orioles. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery on April 22 and the expected recovery time is anywhere between 11-15 months.
Matt Moore won 17 games for the Rays last season and was selected to the All-Star team. He missed about a month of last season due to elbow soreness, and it was initially thought that this year’s discomfort was simply a recurrence of that issue. Unfortunately, the injury proved to be more serious and his announcement delivers another big blow to the Rays pitching depth, as Alex Cobb (oblique) and Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) are also on the disabled list and expected to miss significant time. Entering the season, the Rays’ pitching staff was one of their strong suits, especially given the depth that they have in the minor leagues. That depth will now play a BIG factor in their success or failure during the early part of this season. With Alex Colome serving a 50 game suspension, the Rays will look to Erik Bedard, Nate Karns, Mike Montgomery, and Enny Romero to help fill in the gaps.