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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Robbie Ray

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Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

We picked up Robbie Ray (who I’ve been calling Bob Rae, in part because they are both lefties, in part because I have a hard time calling a grown man Robbie, but mostly because I thought it was funny the first time and it becomes increasingly less funny every time since) in trade from the Diamondback for Travis Bergen, who we’ve since required for cash.

Ray is 27 and has played in the majors for the past seven seasons. In total, he is 49-51, with a 4.25 ERA in 842.1 innings, with 1042 strikeouts and 401 walks. Those last two numbers are the important ones that matter. Ray, career has struck out 28.6% of batters and walked 11.0%. Last year he struck out 27.1% and walked 17.9%. It is pretty tough to be successful when you walk one out of every six batters you face.

But the Blue Jays hope that, with a little bit of Pete Walker magic, he can bring that walk rate down. This spring, he only walked 5 in 13.2 innings (an extremely small sample size), which would be a 9.6% rate, still high, but if you strike out 34.6% of batters and only allow a .128 batting average, all is good (again really really small sample size).

In his career, he’s had a pretty large split; lefties have a .650 OPS, righties .781.

What can we expect this year?

ZiPS predicts a 4.15 ERA in 29 starts, eating 151 innings.

PECOTA has him at 25 starts, 135 innings, and a 3.98 ERA.

The old man in me hates that they both expect barely over 5 innings per start (I’ve just started playing OOTP 22, and starters can barely get in 5 inning, which has me using the minor leagues like a taxi squad, sending reliever up, and down all the time). I think it is pretty hard to have a bullpen cover 4 innings a game (not to mention that there are the odd extra-inning games).

I am really looking forward to watching Ray this season. I often pick a player whose, in my mind, season will be the barometer of the team’s season. For whatever reason, I’m picking Ray. If he has a good year, I’m expecting the Jays will do well, if he doesn’t, well...you get it.

Poll

If the over/under for Ray’s walk rate was 10% I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Over
    (107 votes)
  • 35%
    Under
    (60 votes)
167 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under on Ray’s innings is 145 I take the

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    Over
    (100 votes)
  • 39%
    Under
    (64 votes)
164 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Ray’s bWAR will be

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    < 1.0
    (6 votes)
  • 40%
    1.0 to 2.0
    (64 votes)
  • 44%
    2.0 to 3.0
    (71 votes)
  • 10%
    3.0 to 4.0
    (16 votes)
  • 1%
    > 5.0
    (3 votes)
160 votes total Vote Now