His return from Tommy John surgery has been something less than triumphant, and after pitching poorly for only three innings, Matt Moore was optioned back to triple-A Durham today, according to beat reporter Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Since being promoted, Moore has struck out only 13% of the batters he's faced while walking 10%, and when he has thrown the ball in the zone he's been very hittable. His ERA currently sits at 8.78. There is some question as to whether he's able to consistently repeat his delivery right now -- a topic which Kevin Antonevich just took an in-depth look at.
It's also possible that the ineffectiveness of Matt Moore influenced Rays' GM Matt Silverman's decision not to buy any additional rental players at the trading deadline. There had been hope earlier in the season that Moore's return would improve the team and help keep them in contention, but it didn't take many outings to figure out that Moore still has some work to do to before he's able to pitch his team into the playoffs, and this team probably wasn't good enough to get there without him.
According to Topkin, the Rays will go with a four-man rotation for the time being:
#Rays, with several off-days, will go with 4-man rotation for now after optioning Moore to minors, move will be effective Monday.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) August 1, 2015
With this demotion, the priority now becomes getting Moore ready to contribute in 2016.