The Rays have opted to have rookie Matt Moore start Game 1 of the Division Series against the Rangers. (h/t to LoHud Yankees Blog for the link)
Holy wow! Moore has made only 12 appearances above double-A in his career, including 3 in the last few weeks at the big-league level.
With Moore about 22 years and 100 days old, there have been roughly 70 starts in the post-season by younger pitchers. Very few of them have been in Game 1 of a series, with notably exceptions such as Fernando Valenzuela in Game 1 of the 1981 NLDS, Rick Ankiel in Game 1 of the 2000 NLDS, as well as starts by Clayton Kershaw, Ralph Branca, Don Gullett and, of course, Dwight Gooden.
But I wonder how many pitchers have made a post-season start with so few appearances in the big leagues?
This event relates, I think, the the Rays having such a stockpile of young pitching. If Moore does well and the Rays make it far in this post-season, it will be remembered as his coming-out party.
I'm starting to think that the 2011 playoffs are going to be the best we've seen in a long time. The way I see it, a very strong case can be made that any of 7 teams have a great shot at making the World Series, with the Cardinals being the only exception. The American League, in particular, is wide open.