Second Year Big For Matt Moore With Tampa Bay Rays

By Andy Schmidt
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the 2012 season, there were very high expectations on Matt Moore after his successful run after being brought up from the minor leagues late in 2011. Moore though fell flat on his face with a very mediocre 11-11 record and must improve on that for the Tampa Bay Rays, who will need to depend on Moore even more after trading two starters away. There is no doubt that Moore was dominant especially in the playoffs in 2011 and I expected Moore to win 15-18 games for Tampa last season but it just didn’t happen.

Moore did strike out 175 in 177 1/3 innings and while those numbers are impressive, the amount of wins is troubling. The Rays averaged just under five runs a game for Moore in his starts and with that many runs being scored behind a pitcher, you expect a ton more wins. Moore will be in his second full season in 2013 with the Rays and is signed through 2016 with team options from 2017-19 so he will be in Tampa for a long while but must pitch a lot better.

Moore has to come out and begin the season much better than he did in 2012 where he lost four of his first five decisions. It sent Rays fans scrambling wondering what was wrong with their phenom. The Rays traded James Shields and Wade Davis during this offseason so I would be expect that Moore finds himself being either the No. 2 or No. 3 starter in the rotation. That will bring more pressure for Moore and he needs to prove he can do it all over again.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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