The Seattle Mariners pitching staff suffered a major blow when it was announced that left-handed pitcher Robbie Rayunderwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. Dr. Keith Meister performed the procedure on Raby’s flexor tendon in his left elbow. Ray will miss the rest of the season.
Ray will begin his rehabilitation in two to three weeks in Arizona. Mariners’ manager Scott Servais noted that although the road ahead of Ray will be a long and challenging one, he’s confident that Ray will come through it strong.
Ray is less than two years removed from his Cy Young Award season of 2021 with Toronto in which he went 13-7 and led the league with a 2.84 ERA, 248 strikeouts, and 193 1/3 innings. He made only one start this season, suffering the injury on opening day against the Cleveland Guardians. Ray’s season ends after allowing three earned runs with five walks in 3 1/3 innings.
The Washington Nationals drafted the 31-year-old lefty in the 12th round of the 2010 June Amateur Draft. He debuted with the Tigers in 2014 and became an All-Star in 2017 with the Diamondbacks, going 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 162 innings.
In Ray’s first season with the Mariners, he went 12-12 with a 3.71 ERA and 212 strikeouts in 189 innings. He is in the second season of a five-year contract worth $115 million.
In addition to being the critical piece in the Mariners’ starting rotation, Ray is a veteran leader in the clubhouse. Luis Castillo becomes the ace without Ray, followed by Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Marco Gonzales, and Bryce Miller.
Castillo leads the rotation with an ERA of 1.82, while Gilbert leads with 40 strikeouts. Miller was added to the rotation after the injury. He made one start, allowing only a run in six innings while striking out 10. The current rotation has a record of 7-3, while the remainder of the staff has a 7-13 record for the Mariners, who are 4th in the AL West, four games behind the Rangers.
The Mariners entered the season coming off back-to-back 90-win seasons. They are looking to make the playoffs for the second straight season and for only the second time since the 2001 season. The Mariners are one of only five teams to have never won the World Series. The other four are the Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, and Colorado Rockies.
Ray entered the 2023 season coming off a solid 2022 campaign in which he went 12-12 with a 3.71 ERA. He struck out 212 in 189 innings. Over 10 MLB seasons, Ray is three games over .500 at 74-71 with a 3.96 ERA and 1505 strikeouts in 1082 hits in 1228 innings.
As the Mariners deal with the loss of Robbie Ray for the remainder of the season, other teams are celebrating victories, like Edmonton, where Connor McDavid has set a career high.