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Tampa Bay Rays injury update: Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly, Matt Moore

The Rays have had to deal with an inordinate number of injuries, but received some good news on a few of their pitchers.

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Before the season began, the Rays rotation was supposed to include Jake Odorizzi, and Drew Smyly, but both have dealt with injuries and neither has been able to contribute as much as they hoped. Thankfully for Tampa Bay, both are on track to return at some point this season, and of the two, Odorizzi is the closest to rejoining the rotation.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Odorizzi threw 40 pitches today. Hopes to be back pitching with <a href="">#Rays</a> in two weeks</p>&mdash; Matt Baker (@MBakerTBTimes) <a href="">June 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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He'll be a sight for sore eyes once he's back, as he was one of the Rays' best pitchers. In 76.1 innings this season, he posted an ERA of 2.47, along with an FIP of 2.97, and an fWAR of 1.8. He has impeccable control (1.76 per nine innings), and has allowed a HR/9 of just 0.59 thus far.

Tampa also received encouraging news on Smyly, as he was able to long toss at 105 feet today with no reported problems. Former manager Joe Maddon was asked about his former team, and had nothing but praise for the job that Kevin Cash is doing with his former club.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Joe Maddon happy to see Rays leading AL East. &quot;If Cobber [Alex Cobb] and Smyly were there right now, they’d be leading it comfortably.&quot;</p>&mdash; Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) <a href="">June 18, 2015</a></blockquote>

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While Alex Cobb is lost for the season, and most of 2016, the Rays are close to getting back left-handed pitcher Matt Moore. He hasn't thrown a pitch in a big league game since 2014, but has started four games in the minor leagues this year. He's had mixed results, but is still on track to come back in the near future.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="">#Rays</a> LHP Matt Moore is scheduled to throw a bullpen session at the Trop tomorrow, then be reevaluated for the next step.</p>&mdash; Matt Baker (@MBakerTBTimes) <a href="">June 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Of Moore's four rehab starts, three came at high-A, with his most recent outing coming at the AAA level. He's set to be reevaluated tomorrow, and according to Cash, they're going to "sit down and discuss and kind of game plan going forward. There's [sic] a lot of factors".

The Rays are ultimately deciding on how many more rehab starts he needs, which could be as little as one and as many as two. With that general timeline, Moore should be back with the club around early July.

Finally, Tampa also got good news on Erasmo Ramirez and his injured groin. He's set to throw a bullpen tomorrow, and depending on the outcome of his session, could start in a game as soon as this Friday. With reinforcements coming soon, the Rays are in a surprisingly good position heading into July. While not many experts thought they'd be able to compete this year, they're sitting in first place and could build upon that lead once their rotation gets healthy.