Not Really NunezFriday, September 23, 2011
Rays left-hander Matt Moore dazzled in the first start of his major league career Thursday at Yankee Stadium, fanning 11 hitters and scattering four hits over five scoreless innings as Tampa Bay gained a half-game on the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card standings.
For those who have been tracking Moore’s career path, the outing likely came as no surprise.
Widely regarded as the top pitching prospect in baseball, Moore posted a 1.92 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 210/46 K/BB ratio across 155 innings between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham this season before earning a promotion to the major leagues 11 days ago. He has a high-90s fastball and superb control over his curve and change.
Moore is the American League’s version of Stephen Strasburg -- and that’s not hyperbole. The 22-year-old southpaw should open the 2012 season in the Rays’ starting rotation and needs to be considered a Top 25 overall option in keeper league rankings.
This is Friday's edition of the MLB Daily Dose...
* Here’s an odd story with implications that spread from the federal government to the fantasy baseball waiver wire. According to the Associated Press, Marlins closer Leo Nunez has been pitching under a fake identity since arriving in the United States back in 2001. His real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo, and his real age is 29 -- not 28.
Nunez was sent back to his native Dominican Republic on Thursday and placed on Major League Baseball’s restricted list. He won’t return this season, and there’s a chance he might never make it back. Steve Cishek and Edward Mujica are likely to see save opportunities in south Florida over the final handful of games remaining on the regular season schedule.
* The Astros announced Thursday that right-hander Bud Norris will not make another start this season due to biceps tendinitis in his throwing arm. It’s not a major injury, but the out-of-contention ‘Stros have no motivation to push the promising 26-year-old.
Norris took another major leap forward this year, posting a 3.77 ERA and 176/70 K/BB ratio in 186 innings for last-place Houston. If he continues to develop, he could be a reliable middle-of-the-rotation fantasy starter for many years to come. And because of his lowly win-loss record (6-11), he could be a sleeper in drafts next spring.
National Leauge Quick Hits: MVP candidate Matt Kemp told an L.A. radio station Thursday that he's hoping to sign a contract extension eventually with the Dodgers … Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth remains day-to-day with a bruised elbow … Matt Holliday (finger) took swings in an indoor batting cage Thursday and felt fine … Mets third baseman David Wright continued his recent run of offensive struggles Thursday, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts … Stephen Strasburg will start the Nationals' season finale on Wednesday against the Marlins, giving him two more outings before the end of the year … The Cardinals signed outfielder Lance Berkman to a one-year, $12 million contract for 2012 … Chien-Ming Wang has been diagnosed with a mild case of the flu but fully expects to make his next scheduled start, Saturday against the Braves … Nationals rookie Brad Peacock held the Phillies to one hit over 5 2/3 innings Thursday in another terrific outing … Jason Motte walked three of the five batters he faced as the Cardinals blew a four-run ninth-inning lead against the Mets … Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright tossed a two-inning bullpen session Thursday as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
American League Quick Hits: The Yankees announced Thursday that CC Sabathia won't pitch again in the regular season … Asdrubal Cabrera (back) homered and drove in five runs Thursday in his return to the Indians’ starting lineup … The Mariners have shut down outfielder Casper Wells due to a mysterious head injury … Nelson Cruz (hamstring) believes he’s healthy enough to return to right field … Manny Ramirez said Thursday that he wants to continue playing baseball and is willing to serve his 100-game PED-related suspension … Kevin Gregg picked up his 21st save of the season Thursday in a victory over the Tigers … Rangers reliever Mark Lowe is likely to miss the postseason due to a Grade 2 hamstring strain … Jemile Weeks hit his first big-league homer and scored three of Oakland's runs in Thursday’s defeat of the Rangers … Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan (neck) is not expected to return to action until Monday … Tommy Hunter (groin) expects to make his next scheduled start, Monday against the Red Sox … A’s infielder Scott Sizemore is day-to-day with shoulder tendinitis … Jason Kubel (foot) has been shut down for the rest of the season … Vladimir Guerrero told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that he hopes to play two or three more seasons.