Rays Midseason Report

BEST PLAYER: Lefthander Matt Moore had the best single-game performance of any Rays prospect when he threw a no-hitter for Double-A Montgomery at Mobile on June 16, two days before his 22nd birthday, the first time he had thrown a complete nine innings. Over the first half of the season, Moore has been the best performer among the top young Rays. He deservedly gets a lot of attention for all the strikeouts he rings up, having lead all of minor-league baseball each of the last two seasons and potentially on his way to a third, with 107 Ks in his first 15 starts this season.

BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD: Righthander Matt Bush made a tremendous impression on the Rays staff during spring training for the way he handled himself and now they are even more impressed with how Bush, 25, has handled himself on the mound. Though a couple of rough outings inflated his ERA to 5.83 at the end of June, his 5-3 record and two saves, and his 44/15 strikeouts-to-walks ratio through 29 innings has been encouraging.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Infielder Sean Rodriguez has been a valuable player at the big-league level and lefthander Alex Torres exciting and exasperating in his first season at Triple-A Durham, but the third player acquired in the August 2009 trade of Scott Kazmir to the Angels has not done much—third baseman Matt Sweeney. His second tour with Double-A has gone poorly. Through 56 games, Sweeney, 23, was hitting just .153/.261/.284.

Cool Rays

• Triple-A Durham infielder Russ Canzler and outfielders Brandon Guyer and Desmond Jennings were named to the International League squad for the Triple-A All-Star Game. Bulls radio man Neil Solondz was also selected to work the game.

• Righthander Chris Bootcheck became the third player to exercise an opt-out in his contract and leave Triple-A Durham during the season. Bootcheck was 3-2, 3.57 and had moved into the rotation in late-May. Righthander Cory Wade and outfielder/designated hitter Chris Carter left earlier.