Earlier today, Matt Moore threw his first major league game since coming back from Tommy John Surgery. Once upon a time, Matt Moore had truly great stuff. Even after he lost some of his velocity, his fastball continued to move, and his secondary pitchers were good enough for him to get by.
One of the biggest questions on everybody's mind is surely what version of Matt Moore the Rays are getting back.
Well, if you, like me, logged onto Brooks Baseball as soon as the game ended, you would have been pretty shocked and extremely disappointed. These are the alarming numbers: 40 four-seam fastballs, 90.5 mph, 3.54 inches of horizontal break, 8.29 inches of vertical break.
That's not a particularly good four-seam fastball, and it bears no resemblance to what Matt Moore used to throw. You can breathe a sigh of relief, though, because it also bears no resemblance to what Matt Moore actually threw this afternoon.
That's because, after only throwing nine cutters in his previous major league career (all of them in 2014), according to Brooks Baseball, Moore leaned heavily on his cutter today. He threw it 21 times (more than any other pitch) and the MLBAM classification algorithm called all of them four-seam fastballs.
Here's what his pitches actually looked like:
Here are the averages for the pitches:
|Pitch Type||Count||Speed (mph)||Horizontal Run (inches)||Vertical Rise (inches)|
If you want to look at the individual pitch data for yourself, here it is, from Brooks Baseball, but with my own classifications rather than the gameday ones: Matt Moore First Start Pitches .
I'm sure Brooks will have this sorted tomorrow after they go through and do the classifications themselves, because those guys rock, but I wanted to get this out into the world today, because when I first saw those raw MLBAM averages, I sort of panicked, and I'd sure hate for anyone else to go through that emotional stress.
The averages listed above aren't great for a Matt Moore fastball, but I don't know how much more we should expect as he pitches himself back into shape. So let's just enjoy the fact that he's back, note that he's throwing a cutter, and see what happens next.