The Rays announced Monday that they’ve designated right-hander Andrew Moore for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to top prospect Nate Lowe, who was officially selected to the big league roster earlier this morning.
Moore, a second-round pick of the Mariners back in 2015, arrived in Tampa Bay (alongside Tommy Romero) by way of the trade that sent Denard Span and Alex Colome to Seattle just under a year ago. He made nine starts and pitched 53 innings with the Mariners in his 2017 debut campaign but posted a lackluster 5.34 ERA with just 31 strikeouts (albeit against a particularly stingy eight walks).
While Moore fared reasonably well in Triple-A with the Rays last season following the swap (4.34 ERA in 83 innings), he’s an extreme fly-ball pitcher who hasn’t demonstrated an ability to miss bats at the upper levels of the minor leagues. Moore averaged just 5.8 K/9 in that Triple-A run with the Rays last season, and he’s off to a dreadful start in 2019, having served up a staggering 25 earned runs on 29 hits (nine home runs) and 10 walks with just 10 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings.
Though his 2019 results are obviously unsightly, Moore isn’t far removed from being a reasonably interesting pitching prospect. Prior to his arrival at the MLB level in 2017, he’d been touted as a potential fourth or fifth starter who relied on plus control and an above-average-to-plus changeup to compensate for his rather average fastball velocity. If he clears waivers, the Rays will surely be glad to continue trying to coax that upside out of the 24-year-old. Moore is in his final option year, however, so a club looking for some upper-level rotation depth could conceivably show interest if it sees something correctable in Moore despite his 2019 struggles.