ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- There is a father-like excitement for Mitch Lukevics in seeing Matt Moore become an All-Star.
Lukevics, the Tampa Bay Rays' director of minor-league operations, has seen Moore grow from a raw talent into one of the American League's most effective pitchers. On Thursday, the Rays left-hander (13-3, 3.44 ERA) received word that he was named to his first All-Star Game, to be played Tuesday at Citi Field in New York. Moore replaces injured Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish (back).
"It's a journey," Lukevics said. "It's like raising your kids."
As with all journeys, however, there are memories of a beginning. The Rays -- then the Devil Rays -- drafted Moore in the eighth round of the 2007 draft.
At age 18, Moore debuted in the minors in rookie ball with the Princeton Rays. Future stops included the Single-A Bowling Green Hot Rods, the High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs, the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits and the Triple-A Durham ...