Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mariners sign Chris Ray

Remember Chris Ray?  Pretty darn good reliever with the Orioles back in the mid 2000's (do we refer to the last decade as the aughts?) who could bring some pretty high heat, was awfully difficult to make contact off of, and actually saved 33 games in 2006.

Then his elbow exploded, he had Tommy John surgery, and his high 90's fastball turned into low 90's and the sparkling ERA and ridiculous K/9 turned both turned into pumpkins pretty quickly.  Last year, he split time between Texas and San Francisco and actually proved to be a fairly effective reliever with a 3.72 ERA although his 5.30 xFIP and .249 BABIP suggests he was getting darn lucky and his 5.01 K/9 seems to corroborate that he wasn't fooling too many hitters.

Anyway, the M's signed him to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring, so let's all cross our fingers that his Tommy John elbow goes the way some do and he not only regains his velocity but hey, let's get greedy - maybe he gains velocity!

More likely, he's a replacement part with some experience that hopefully we don't need.  But all in all, not a bad guy to have around for general organizational depth.  He just turned 29, so he's not old by baseball standards and it's not out of the question that he's got a little left in the tank.  But without the velocity, he's pretty ordinary.

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