Matt Moore has been called up by the Rays. If you don’t know who he is, here’s a little crash course. Moore is a 22 year old, left handed starting pitcher for the Rays. He owns a fastball that can hit 94 mph, but it’s his curveball, roundly regarded as the best in all of minor league baseball (he explains how he throws it in this video), that leads to his dominating strikeout totals. Moore made 18 starts in Double-A this season before taking the hill for nine starts in Triple-A. The results were astounding.
12-3, 1.92 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 12.19 K/9
That’s right, the lefty struck out more than 12 batters per nine. Even if that number comes down by 25 percent in the bigs we’re still talking about a strikeout per inning arm.
Don’t go overboard with expectations this season. He’s going to start by working out of the pen, and though there is some hope that he will make a start on September 21st, it’s not certain that he will make any starts for the Rays this season. Next year? This kid has the talent to be the left-handed, AL version of Stephen Strasburg, he honestly could make that big of an impact. Be ready to pay dearly on draft day if you’re planning on acquiring his services.
Albert Pujols watch. He’s dealing with a sprained ankle, but he’s pushed his season line up to .297-34-89-93. The guy is simply amazing.
Mike Stanton did not suffer a setback with his injured hammy, but Marlins’ manager Jack McKeon pulled Stanton from a start Saturday because the slugger simply cannot run. “I can’t put him out there if that’s the fastest he can run,” McKeon said. I’d suggest extreme caution when deciding what to do with Stanton. Personally, I wouldn’t take the risk on the slugger who has 32 homers and 81 RBI unless I simply didn’t have any other options.
Troy Tulowitzki (hip) might miss both games of the mini series with the Brewers this week. Terrible timing for those of you in the fantasy playoffs. If you need a fill in, how about Marco Scutaro of the Red Sox. Why you ask? Because he has been killing it of late with multi hit games in five of his last seven outings. In fact, he has 14 hits in his last seven games while he’s knocked in 11 runs.
Look who is suddenly hot. B.J. Upton may only be hitting .232 on the year, but he’s gone 20/20 (20 homers and 27 steals), and he’s pushed his RBI total up to 71. In his last seven games Upton has knocked two long balls, including a grand slam, on his way to 10 RBI and 12 hits. The recent hot streak has upped his average from .220 up to .232. It’s still a terrible number, and it’s looking like he’ll finish the year with a third straight season hitting less than .242, but Upton still has value for his counting stat production.
Chase Utley (concussion) isn’t likely to return until later this week. He passed his first neurological test, and the team has set up one more for him to work through before he gets back out on the field. Luckily for the Phils they have the luxury of taking their time with Utley since they have a 12 game lead over the Braves. Utley is hitting only .262 on the year and if you give him 550 at-bats at his current level of production we’d be looking at a season of 16 homers, 65 RBI, 79 runs and 21 steals. That’s a far cry from what we are used to seeing from Chase.
By Ray Flowers