If you haven’t read much of my past stuff, you might not know this. I have been a massive Robbie Ray fan for a long time, going all the way back to 2016. He had nasty stuff and a much better FIP than ERA. Sort of like Jon Gray who was on the Rockies back then. So, when it was announced that he would sign with the Mariners heading into 2022, I was incredibly excited.
We were getting the reigning Cy Young award winner, and he was coming to Seattle because he wanted to be here, not because we had to overpay for him. He was an oddball LHP with impressive strikeout stuff, and he was finally going to be in a Mariners uniform. I don’t think we expected him to be a top-of-the-line Ace, but he definitely seemed like a guy who could lead the rotation.
When it comes down to it, I’m giving Robbie Ray a B- for his Regular Season 2022 Grade
We’ve already talked a lot about the playoffs with Ray. Servais probably shouldn’t have thrown him in game two against the Blue Jays. They were a stacked RH lineup, and Ray is an LHP. It wasn’t a good matchup. HOWEVER, he is supposed to be your front-line guy, and still work his way through those matchups.
Then, the Astros series. Ray was literally the last guy on the team who should’ve come in to face Alvarez. Servais should take the blame for that one.
Unfortunately, a lot of that overshadows what Ray did throughout the regular season for the Mariners. He made every single start, went 189 innings, struck out 212 hitters, and had a nice ERA of 3.71 and a WHIP of 1.19. He was ever a bit better than that, too, since he was the one throwing that ridiculous rainy game in Chicago at the beginning of the year.
Since then, in 30 starts, he had a 3.64 ERA. Not great, but still pretty darn good. To me, there is an argument that Robbie Ray was one of the stepping stones to the Mariners turning their season around. In their 60th game of the year, Ray went seven scoreless, even though the Mariners lost 2-0 to Boston. In his next start, he would go seven again, giving up one run and striking out ten in a win.
Over a seven-game stretch, he would lock in a 1.36 ERA, with the Mariners losing only that first start to the Red Sox.
Houston just had his number this year. In non-Houston games, he had a 3.28 ERA. In his three Astros starts, he had a 10.97 ERA. That’s more acceptable for one of your mid/bottom-tier pitchers. Not the guy you are playing 20+ million a year.
There was a lot of good this year from Robbie Ray. There was also a decent amount of bad. With year one in the books, I think Robbie Ray has a chance to turn it around in 2023. We might not ever see the Cy Young winner that Toronto had, but Ray still has all the makings of a very solid number 2 (behind Castillo), and someone that deserves his spot in the rotation.