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May 1, 2014

The Call-Up

Robbie Ray

by Mark Anderson and Craig Goldstein


The Situation: When Anibal Sanchez went on the disabled list with a finger laceration, the Tigers knew they would need another starter on May 6. The speculation as to who that starter would be ended when Detroit announced that the headliner in the Doug Fister trade, Robbie Ray, would take the bump next Tuesday in place of Sanchez.

Background: Ray made slow and steady progress as he moved through the Nationals’ system after being popped in the 12th round and signed for nearly $800,000 in 2010. Ray’s breakout came after a return trip to the High-A Carolina League in 2013. After posting a 6.56 ERA in 21 starts (22 appearances) at High-A in 2012, Ray returned to notch a 3.11 ERA in 16 starts before he was promoted to Double-A in the second half. In 11 Eastern League starts, Ray posted a 3.72 ERA and struck out better than a batter per inning. He was dealt to the Tigers as the headline piece of the package in the Doug Fister trade last winter and has dominated in five Triple-A starts this season.

Scouting Report: It’s hard not to like Ray the second he steps on the mound, thanks to a lean, athletic build that exhibits some strength. He backs up the physical presence with an easy delivery that he has begun to repeat with more consistency.

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5 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

kalimantan

Where do you think Ray would have fitted in the Top 10 prospects? I see that he arrived at the Tigers after you'd done their top 10, but left the Nats before you did their's, so he didn't appear anywhere on either list

May 01, 2014 05:24 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mark Anderson
BP staff

Ray would have been #2 on the Tigers list.

May 01, 2014 05:53 AM
 
tonytouch

picked him up, why not? Dropped Brian Roberts.

May 01, 2014 10:11 AM
rating: 0
 
DetroitDale

The buzz around Motown is if he does well he can replace Max Scherzer in the rotation next year if they don't sign him. I don't necessarily disagree with that strategy, as the money and years necessary to bring Mad Max back isn't really feasible, but it creates the problem that you're replacing a front line ace starter with a reliable middle of the order guy. This is a problem because the team's success to date has revolved around the team's four aces carrying the team when the hitting and bullpen underperformed. Well one ace (Doug Fister) is already gone in the trade everyone hated and the another is going away due to economics. The bullpen has been even worse due to injuries and underperformance, and the much publicized lineup revamp has cost more runs in power loss than it got back in speed and aggressiveness. And the two remaining aces (Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez) have age and injury concerns respectively. There's no help in the farm system for either aces in training, or trade chips (Ray is the best coming), if the money "saved" by not signing Scherzer isn't funneled to improvements in bullpen and lineup, this team is destined to regress in 2015 to the rest of the AL Central.

To put another way, this is Detroit's last year as a serious WS contender

May 01, 2014 11:00 AM
rating: 0
 
BayCityM

Which makes the Cabby extension even more head scratching.

May 01, 2014 15:44 PM
rating: 0
 
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