Tampa Bay Rays: Is Matt Moore the Best Pitcher on the Rays' Staff?
Matt Moore is flying under the radar, but he is the best pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays right now.
As a matter of fact, since the All-Star break, Moore has been one of the best starting pitchers in all of baseball, and here's why.
Post All-Star Break
The 23-year-old is 4-1 with a 1.47 ERA, having given up only five earned runs in 30.2 innings. Although he's walked 12 batters thus far, he still holds a WHIP of 1.04, has yet to give up a home run and has struck out 28.
His stuff is electric. He looks like a 10-year veteran, holding opposing batters to an atrocious .182/.222/.227 split.
If you still doubt that he's the ace of the club right now, let's keep putting things in perspective.
Pre All-Star Break
Before the All-Star Game, Matt Moore wasn't anything to brag about. In fact, there were doubts over whether or not he could pitch at this level.
He pitched himself to a mere 5-6 record with 4.42 ERA, while batters stroked a .252 batting average.
How Well Do You Think Matt Moore Has Progressed in 2012?
On The Year
Moore has had his struggles, but they're interesting ones. His ERA currently sits at 3.67, but given his ability to adapt, that could improve.
With the bases empty, Moore is pitching a lights-out 1.10 ERA. But when guys get on, it's almost as if the panic button has been hit.
With runners on first and second, his ERA shoots up to 6.18, and with runners on the corners it more than doubles, at 13.50.
Finally, with runners in scoring position he sits at 11.90.
If you're starting to have second thoughts about him, don't.
Matt Moore is representative of everything the Rays want to see. Regardless of his struggles in the first half, Moore has found a groove, and that's all that matters.
When he's on the bump, he makes pitching look effortless. His delivery is smooth and quiet.
Above all, he has the ability to lead a ballclub one day and impact the Rays right now.
For the remainder of the season, keep an eye on him and you might realize that Tampa has a pitcher of the future on its hands, one who is impressing us day in and day out, seemingly without effort.
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