Loss of Matt Moore a Major Blow to Tampa Bay Rays

Matt Moore Tampa Bay Rays

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries are plaguing a lot of MLB teams to start the season, but the Tampa Bay Rays are being dealt most of the damage at one crucial position. The Rays placed Matt Moore on the 15-day disabled list, but it sounds like he may need more time than that. He’s reportedly making a trip to see Dr. James Andrews, so you know it’s kind of a big deal.

The Rays are already missing Jeremy Hellickson, who will be out until at least June after having elbow surgery. A starting rotation of David Price, Moore, Hellickson, Alex Cobb and Chris Archer is a formidable one, but without two of their top three pitchers their staff isn’t nearly as threatening.

The Rays have always had a solid farm system, especially when it comes to talented arms. Unfortunately for them, the pickings are a little slim as far as their Triple-A affiliate is concerned compared to most seasons. They’re already throwing top prospect Jake Odorizzi on the mound earlier than they had hoped, and they’re going to have to get starts from someone else.

Their top starting pitching prospects at the Triple-A Duram Bulls are Nate Karns, Enny Romero and a couple other guys who aren’t even close to ready for that kind of pressure.

The Rays seem like they always have pitchers stashed in the minors, but over the past offseason they’ve given a lot of them away and it’s coming back to haunt them.  In January, they gave up two exceptional, young pitchers in Alex Torres and Jesse Hahn. It wasn’t necessarily a bad deal at the time, but now they are hurting even more because of it.

The Rays picked the wrong offseason to give up so many crucial prospects. They have Moore under contract until 2017, so they definitely won’t rush him back. It will be interesting to see how they deal with the missed starts. In the past they might have given up a potential star player and been able to fill the void easily, but they don’t have as many bargaining chips in 2014.

David Fouty is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davefouty, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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