Former Blue Jays ace Robbie Ray injured, will miss the rest of the 2023 season
By Edward Eng
On Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners announced that former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Robbie Ray will undergo surgery to repair his flexor tendon and will miss the rest of the 2023 season. Ray was initially place on the 15-day IL with a left flexor strain after a 9-4 loss to the Cleveland Guardians in his first game of the season. In the outing, Ray struggled immensely, walking five batters and giving up four hits, five runs (three earned) over 3.1 innings.
The initial prognosis was optimistic, with Ray pegged to recover within a 4-6 week time frame. Things appeared to be progressing pretty well until he underwent an evaluation this past Monday. That was when the unfortunate news hit for Ray in that he will now be shut down for the rest of the season.
Ray was a key anchor in helping the Jays succeed and reach 91 wins during the 2021 season, while just missing out in the postseason by one game. He had a career year that year, as he went 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.045 WHIP (both career lows), striking out 248 batters over 193.1 innings (both career highs). His stellar performance won him the 2021 AL Cy Young Award, beating out New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and Chicago White Sox starter Lance Lynn. During the 2021 offseason, he signed with the Mariners through free agency, while the Jays picked up Kevin Gausman as his replacement.
Ray wasn’t able to replicate his 2021 performance with the Mariners last year, but still finished with a respectable 3.71 ERA, with a 1.19 WHIP and 212 strikeouts in 189 innings. However, he often struggled at times with control, which was a common theme in his career prior to his 2021 Cy Young winning year. He was hoping that 2023 would give him a fresh start once again and regain the Mariners’ trust in his ability, as he had an impressive Spring Training, appearing in five games, recording a 1.06 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, giving up only two runs with 26 strikeouts over 17 innings pitched.
Here, we wish Ray success in his surgery and a speedy recovery so that he will be back and competing again for the 2024 MLB season.