The Rays' manager was quick to smile when Moore's name was mentioned Thursday. He noted that the home run Moore surrendered did not bother him in the least.
"I was actually pretty excited about watching the whole thing," Maddon said. "The very first windup he took just warming up -- I'd never seen him throw before. So I'm watching this guy warm up and I'm saying, 'Wow, that's pretty good.'"
Maddon accentuated his "pretty good" with a chuckle that actually labeled his "pretty good" as an understatement.
"Here he goes out of the stretch the first inning [he pitched] and the next inning he was really getting into his comfort zone," Maddon said. "[He] really does it easily. It's one of those easy arms with high gas and a nice rotation on the breaking ball, really good offspeed stuff."
Moore's first strikeout came against J.J. Hardy, a moment Maddon referenced.
"[Moore] threw a changeup -- I think it was to Hardy that he had no idea he had -- and that was outstanding, too," Maddon said. "This kid is going to be really good. ... I don't know how that's all going to work out in the future and the near future, but I'll say this, he has a chance to be very special."
Moore, who went 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA in a combined 27 starts for Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham this season, will be working out of the Rays' bullpen. He worked 1 1/3 innings Wednesday night, so Maddon said Moore would not be available Thursday night against the Red Sox.
"I'll check it out again tomorrow and see if he's available for tomorrow," Maddon said. "This is new territory, like we did with David [Price] a few years ago. So I'll just wait and see how he's feeling."
Price pitched out of the Rays' bullpen upon reaching the Major Leagues late in the 2008 season, so Maddon was asked about the parallel between Price and Moore.
"[Price] wasn't as animated as he is today," Maddon said. "I don't know if all of a sudden next year Matt Moore is going to be having his pet dog in the dugout, that sort of thing.
"When David began, I didn't expect him to be as funny as he is. He's very funny. And when a guy first shows up, they don't necessarily bring their sense of humor with them all the time. David eventually went back and got his sense of humor and brought that with him. So maybe Matt's going to be the same way."
Maddon noted that he did give Price a nudge to speak to Moore about the experience he went through in 2008, which Price has already done.