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Matthew Cody Moore

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Pitcher Matt Moore reached the majors with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011.

Moore was drafted out of high school by the Devil Rays in the 8th round of the 2007 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Jack Powell and spent his first two professional seasons with the Princeton Devil Rays/Princeton Rays in the Appalachian League, going 0-0, 2.66 in 2007 and 2-2, 1.66 in 12 starts in 2008, making the circuit's All-Star team. He moved to the Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods in 2009, where he was 8-5, 3.15 in 26 starts. He struck out 176 batters and emerged as a top prospect, being named #35 on Baseball America's top 100 prospect list after the season.

Pitching for the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League in 2010, Moore's 6-11 record in 26 starts was superficially unimpressive, but he had a very good 3.36 ERA and struck out an outstanding 208 batters in 144 2/3 innings, a Rays organization record at the time. He was named the circuit's Pitcher of the Week on four different occasions and made the league's All-Star team at the end of the year. His prospect ranking prior to the 2011 season had improved to #15. He started the season with Montgomery Biscuits of the AA Southern League, where he was outstanding over the first half. He went 8-3 in 18 starts, with a 2.20 ERA and 131 Ks in 102 1/3 innings, while allowing only 68 hits. He threw a no-hitter against the Mobile Bay Bears on June 16th, then pitched for the U.S. team in the 2011 Futures Game, then was promoted to AAA Durham. He continued just where he had left off, making 9 starts with a 4-0 record and a 1.37 ERA while again striking out well over a batter per inning. He was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Year and got the call to Tampa Bay in September, by which time he had climbed to #3 on Baseball America's prospect list. Overall he ranked second overall in the minor leagues in ERA (1.92), strikeouts (210) and opponents' batting average (.182) and was tops in strikeouts/9 innings at 12.2. He was a mid-season All-Star in the Southern League, and a post-season All-Star in the International League. He made his major league debut in relief on September 14th, and won his only start of the year with 5 scoreless innings in a key game against the New York Yankees on September 22nd, finishing the year 1-0, 2.89 in 3 appearances. With the Rays' starters dead tired after beating the Boston Red Sox for the American League­ wild card, Moore was the surprise choice to start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers on September 30th. Belying his age and lack of experience, Moore pitched a superb game, holding the Rangers scoreless for 7 innings as the Rays won handily, 9-0. His other appearance, in Game 4, was also quite good, although he gave up a solo home run to Adrian Beltre in 3 innings of relief - the only hit he gave up. The Rays lost the game, 4-3, and the series that day. After the season, the Rays wasted no time in placing their young pitcher in the fold for the long-term, signing him to an 8-year deal that could be worth almost $40 million if he remains in the big leagues for the entire time span.

As a rookie in 2012, Moore made 31 starts for the Rays, pitching 177 1/3 innings with a record of 11-11, a 3.81 ERA and 175 strikeouts. The Rays were careful not to allow him to pitch too many innings. he was 10th in the American League in strikeouts, but his 81 walks also placed him 7th. He also finished in the top 10 in the league in strikeouts per nine innings and fewest hits per nine innings, both statistics being excellent indicators of future success.

Moore had a tremendous month of April for the Rays in 2013, going 5-0 with a 2.33 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 32 innings; however, he lost out to the Boston Red Sox's Clay Buchholz for Pitcher of the Month honors in the American League. On May 14th, when he earned a 5-3 win against the Boston Red Sox­, he became the first pitcher in the AL to reach 7 wins, and the first in Rays history to start a season 7-0. That sparkling record went along with a 2.44 ERA and an opponents' batting average of only .172 at that point. When he defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 3-1, on May 19th, to go 8-0, he set the Rays franchise record with 9 consecutive wins, beating a mark set by teammate David Price the previous season, and also evoked the great Babe Ruth: at 23 years old, he was the youngest lefty to start a season 8-0 since the Babe had done so at age 22 in 1917. He suffered his first loss of the season on June 4th, when the Detroit Tigers whacked him for 6 runs on 7 hits and 6 walks in 2 innings on their way to a 10-1 win. He set a personal record for wins on July 6th when he defeated the Chicago White Sox, 3-0, to improve to 12-3. He was not originally selected to play in the 2013 All-Star Game, but was added to the American League squad when Yu Darvish went on the disabled list with an injury. After pitching a scoreless inning in the All-Star Game, he recorded his first career complete game and shutout on July 22nd when he blanked the Boston Red Sox, 3-0, on 2 hits. Unfortunately for the Rays, he had to be placed on the disabled list on July 31st because of a sore muscle in his left elbow, although the injury was not thought to be major. He missed all of August, then went 3-1 in 6 September outings, although those were kept short, as he only once pitched into the 7th inning. He ended the season at 17-4, 3.29 in 27 starts and 150 1/3 innings. He started Game 1 of the ALDS against the Red Sox, suffering a 12-2 loss, then pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Jeremy Hellickson in Game 4 but was not involved in the decision.

Moore then made two starts in 2014 before running into more serious injury issues. He was tagged with a 3-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on April 2nd, then left his April 7th start against the Kansas City Royals in the 5th inning when he felt something wrong in his elbow. He was placed on the disabled list and sent to see Dr. James Andrews for a diagnostic, who recommended Tommy John surgery, thus ending Matt's season.

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