Moore progressing, enjoying time with mates

Rays' lefty eyeing return in May 2015 as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery

Moore progressing, enjoying time with mates

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Moore is out for the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but the left-hander remains a familiar face around the Rays' clubhouse and he's making progress with his rehab.

"I have sock throws starting this coming Monday," said Moore, talking about the drill where a sock is placed over his left arm with a baseball inside of it. "I'll do those six times, two weeks worth, Monday, Wednesday, Friday times two. After that, I'll be at 20 weeks. That will be five months [since his surgery] and I'll start my throwing program."

Once Moore begins his throwing program, he'll continue to build up strength in his elbow as well as the rest of his body for his eventual return. When asked when that return will be, Moore noted that May is circled on the 2015 calendar.

"We're at the four-and-a-half months right now, so that would be a decent target to shoot for," Moore said. "That would be pretty much 13 months on the dot."

He added in almost afterthought: "If it was June, honestly, I think it would be best for all parties. Our squad in general and myself, just to make sure that we're not trying to get to May [and rushing things]."

Though Moore misses baseball and is eager to return, he has gained some perspective about baseball and life in general things since having the surgery in April.

"There are a couple of positive things, not necessarily in baseball," Moore said. "Like getting to see my grandma a few last times this summer was pretty big for me. She was 77, she was battling cancer for a year or two. Had I not been hurt, I wouldn't have seen her the last two times when she was alive as I did. So I look at those things.

"I look at my elbow, it's not my heart, it's not my brain. The rehabilitation process is very promising. So there's nothing to really be down on. Try to look at some of the better things that are going around us. The fact that [Drew] Smyly's here, the new guy. [Jake] Odorizzi's pitching his butt off. We have Helly [Jeremy Hellickson] back this year and have him pitch the way he has. Those are positive things. There are some things here to keep my mind off just my elbow."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.