ST. PETERSBURG - Rays All-Star pitcher Matt Moore was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a sore left elbow that is not believed to be serious. In fact, the Rays expect Moore to rejoin the rotation during the next homestand, which begins Aug. 13.
"I think anytime you're dealing with a pitcher and his arm you have some degree of concern," executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. An MRI on Monday did not reveal any structural damage and Friedman said team orthopedist Koco Eaton and head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield were optimistic the injury will heal with time off. "We're just being overly cautious right now," Friedman said. Moore said he felt soreness in his elbow during the second inning Sunday while pitching at Yankee Stadium. Because he only felt the pain while throwing his change-up, Moore said he continued to pitch and was able to complete five innings. But the elbow was still sore Wednesday when he threw with Porterfield before the game, so the Rays made the move. "I'm not exactly sure what caused it or if there was something that caused it. It could have just been fatigue that was going to happen either way," Moore said. "It's a fortunate situation. If something like this did have to happen, with the number of off days and as well as we're throwing the ball right now, I don't think we should skip a beat at all." That the Rays were going to take advantage of four off days in the first 12 days of August and use a four-man rotation means they don't have to reach to Triple A Durham for another pitcher. Infielder Ryan Roberts was recalled from Durham to add depth to the bench. The rotation for the weekend series with the Giants is Chris Archer, David Price and Roberto Hernandez. Jeremy Hellickson, who pitched Wednesday against the Diamondbacks, will face them Tuesday in Phoenix, when the Rays begin a five-game road trip that also includes three games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. "The off days really permitted us to do this more comfortably," manager Joe Maddon said. "We don't think it's anything serious. We just wanted to give him that time." Moore is the third member of the Rays' Opening Day rotation to spend time on the disabled list, joining David Price (strained left triceps) and Alex Cobb (concussion). Price has returned, and Cobb could rejoin the Rays on the next homestand. "In a perfect world, they should be back on the next homestand," Maddon said. Moore said the plan is to rest the elbow. He said he doesn't expect to throw again until the weekend. He also said he is not worried that the injury is more than just soreness. "I'm not concerned about it," he said. "I had an MRI to make sure everything was still intact structurally, and it was. The inflammation that was shown is pretty normal in pitchers the day after they pitch. You have things that bug you over the course of the season. We're going to take our time and treat it properly to ensure that I'll be there for us later in the season." [email protected] (813) 259-7227 Twitter: @RMooneyTBO