All you need to know about what happened to Robbie Ray of the Seattle Mariners and the extent of his time away from the field.
According to reports, left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray of the Seattle Mariners will have surgery to repair his flexor tendon. Unfortunately, Ray will not be able to come back for this season. The left-handed batter was placed on the 15-day injured list due to a flexor strain; however, according to Divish, additional testing revealed damage in a different region of the tendon than what was initially thought.
Since Ray was such an integral part of the Mariners’ plans for the upcoming season, this piece of news is obviously devastating for both him and the team. After having a career that was full of ups and downs with the Tigers and the Diamondbacks, Ray finally found stability in a tremendous way when he joined the Blue Jays in 2021.
He had tremendous strikeout ability from the beginning of his career, but he struggled with command, walking 11% of batters he faced by the end of the 2020 season in his career. However, by the end of the 2021 campaign, he had cut that percentage down to 6.7% while continuing to record an incredible 32.1% of knockouts. At the end of the season, his earned run average was 2.84, which earned him the Cy Young Award for the American League.
This breakthrough occurred at the ideal time for him, as he went into free agency immediately after it and signed a deal with the Mariners for five years and $115 million with an opt-out after the third season. Although he fell from the incredible heights he reached the year before, he still had a good year with Seattle despite his natural decline from those heights. He made 32 starts and finished with an earned run average of 3.71. He struck out 27.4% of his opponents while only walking 8% of them.
Because of this, the club was able to end its absence from the postseason for the first time since 2001, when it qualified for the playoffs. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the 2023 season will now be considered a failure on every level. Ray was only able to make one start, which lasted for three and third innings, before going on the injured list, and that outing will now count as his entire total for the year.
Mariners were primed to take a big jump this season with Robbie Ray and Luis Castillo
Since last year’s deadline acquisition of Luis Castillo, which pushed Chris Flexen to the bullpen, the Mariners have had six potential starters. With Castillo, Ray, George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, and Marco Gonzales set to fill the front five places, many anticipated that the club could try to move Flexen to bolster another section of the roster. In the end, the Mariners maintained all six pitchers, a choice that now appears prudent in light of Ray’s injury. Flexen has struggled thus far this season, with an 8.86 ERA, but he was quite efficient for the M’s the previous two seasons.
This will have little immediate impact on the Mariners because they were already operating without Ray, but it will have a significant influence on their long-term plans now that Ray’s return later in the year is off the table. They have depth options on the 40-man roster like as Darren McCaughan, José Rodrguez, and Easton McGee, but Divish reports that manager Scott Servais is re-evaluating the club’s pitching depth in light of this news. When the M’s needed a spot start in the past, seasoned journeyman Tommy Milone was given the nod.
Finding external pitching possibilities at this time of year might be difficult because most teams are struggling with their own ailments and few have elected to sell so early. However, they can still look at Madison Bumgarner, who was just DFAed by the Diamondbacks and now joins pitchers like Dallas Keuchel and Chris Archer on the free agent market.
The Mariners are currently 11-12 and fourth in the American League West, but they are far from dead, with only 2.5 games separating them from the division-leading Rangers. There is still time for them to catch up, but they will have to do so without any contributions from their highest-paid player this year.
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