Mariners lefty Robbie Ray placed on 15-day IL after first start of season
April 1, 2023 Updated Sat., April 1, 2023 at 2:14 p.m.
If only it were an elaborate April Fool’s joke.
A day after Robbie Ray struggled in his first start of the season, allowing five runs (three earned) on four hits while walking five batters in 3 1/3 innings pitched, the Mariners placed him on the 15-day injured list with a flexor strain in his left forearm/elbow.
Seattle recalled left-handed reliever Gabe Speier from Class AAA Tacoma to take Ray’s spot on the active roster. Right-hander Chris Flexen, who pitched four innings of relief in Friday’s 9-4 loss, will likely take Ray’s spot in the rotation.
In a bit of a baseball anomaly last season, the Mariners never had to place a starting pitcher in their rotation on the injured list or have one miss a start due to injury.
This season, they made it exactly two games.
Ray was the unlikeliest of candidates to be troubled by arm issues. He had never been placed on the injured list due to an arm-related issue in his career. With a concentrated effort on starting his throwing program earlier this offseason and changing up his lifting routine, Ray reported to spring training already throwing in the mid-90s. He dominated hitters in the Cactus League, he struck out 26 batters in 17 innings this spring.
Ray threw a handful of fastballs between 95-96 mph in the first inning, but by the fourth inning the fastball was down 91-93 mph.
After the game, Ray never mentioned forearm tightness or discomfort. He said his command was off and wasn’t sure why he couldn’t locate it.
“I felt like my focus was there,” he said. “Whether it was delivery or my mechanics, whatever, it was just off. It was one of those nights.”
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