Matt Moore has torn elbow ligament and (probably) needs Tommy John surgery

David Brown
April 10, 2014
Rays' Moore will try to throw in a few days
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore delivers to a Kansas City Royals batter during the third inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Monday, April 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

We've got another one. As was feared, left-hander Matt Moore of the Tampa Bay Rays has a torn UCL. Rays manager Joe Maddon says in the Tampa Tribune, from his understanding of Moore's test results with Dr. James Andrews, that the ligament is not completely torn. The Rays and Moore are discussing options, which include rehab that would force him out of action for about a month.

More likely: Moore will have Tommy John surgery and will miss at least a year of action. Moore would be the 12th major leaguer to undergo Tommy John this year. There are several more in the minors, perhaps nine or 10, who have had the surgery as well.

"I’m sure there’ll be some stewing over this, the severity as far as if I think it’s something I can pitch with … we’ll have to weigh the options," Moore said Wednesday before leaving for the examination.

Moore has been a huge part of the Rays' success since 2011, going 29-17 with a 3.53 ERA and 339 strikeouts in 347 innings. He turns 25 in June.

A few other pitchers, such as Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals, have pitched with a partially torn UCL for years before undergoing surgery. Matt Harvey of the Mets was considering that route in 2013 but ultimately opted for surgery. His rehab is going well.

Moore apparently tore his UCL on Monday during his start at Kansas City. He saw Andrews on Wednesday afternoon, getting a second MRI that included an injection of contrast dye into Moore's body to better see the image of the ligament.

Something to consider for Moore and the Rays: They're in a position to win the World Series this season. If the tear in Moore's arm can hold — like it did in Wainwright's case — they might opt to do rehab so he can finish the season.

The issue: The ligament eventually will tear, and Moore will bear the brunt of another emotional moment of injuring his elbow, plus a year of rehab. It's all a lot to consider.

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David Brown edits Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at and follow him on Twitter!

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