Tampa Bay Rays' starter Matt Moore will undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow and miss the remainer of the season, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Moore's surgery will be performed on April 22 by Dr. James Andrews, and will aim to repair his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.
Moore spoke to Topkin about his decision to undergo the surgery now instead of waiting until later in his career to address the issue:
"What was coming out, it's a shame to be have to be shut down right now but it just wasn't comfortable," Moore said. "Being stuck in the position I am right now, where it's not exactly comfortable but it's not exactly completely broke, it's kind of one of those things where you know it's going to get worse."
"I think I probably feel worse for missing out on what's about to happen with this squad, more so than it's my elbow, it's going to get better," Moore said. "I'll figure out a way, find a way to compete on the mound. I'm not fearful of that."
Moore, 24, attempted to pitch today in a throwing session, but felt that the discomfort in the elbow was too much to overcome. He was removed from his start on April 7 with elbow soreness, prompting concerns that he would join a long list of young pitchers to head under the knife early in the season.
Moore is the latest among many hurlers to head for Tommy John surgery this year, joining Cory Luebke (Padres), Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Cory Gearrin (Braves), Jameson Taillon (Pirates), Bobby Parnell (Mets), Patrick Corbin and David Hernandez (Diamondbacks), Bruce Rondon (Tigers), Jarrod Parker (Athletics) and Luke Hochevar (Royals).
Moore appeared in two games for the Rays this season, surrendering three earned runs in ten innings of work. He was excellent for Tampa last season, pitching to a 17-4 record and 3.29 ERA in 27 starts on his way to a ninth place finish in voting for the AL Cy Young award. In 63 career appearances (61 starts) since breaking into the majors in 2011, Moore has a lifetime 29-17 record and 3.53 ERA in 347 innings.
With Moore joining Jeremy Hellickson (out until late May after elbow surgery) and Alex Cobb (on the 15-day DL with an oblique strain), the Rays will turn to a starting five of David Price, Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Cesar Ramos and recent call-up Erik Bedard. Sources indicate that Enny Romero could soon join the team as well after being scratched from his start tonight at Triple-A Durham, as he is "in waiting" in anticipation of potentially replacing Odorizzi (who is dealing with illness) tomorrow night.