Monday, April 19, 2010
Is Chris Ray flying under the radar?
By Richard Durrett
BOSTON -- One pitcher we haven't talked much about this season is reliever Chris Ray.
He was part of the Kevin Millwood trade and had some soreness in an area near his shoulder in spring training and struggled at times in Surprise, Ariz. But he was on the Opening Day roster as someone with experience in pitching in close games late.
Ray gave up a run on a homer in a win against Seattle on April 9. It's the only run he's allowed all season in 4 1/3 innings. He got all three batters he faced against the Mariners on April 11. He struggled against the Indians in a Rangers' win, getting the first two hitters, but walking the last two.
"I was up a few times warming up and I think I just ran out of gas," Ray said. "I'm building up that strength, but that day I just ran out."
But Ray rebounded Saturday against the Yankees, he got three batters in eight pitches, six of them strikes.
"I feel good physically and that's an improvement over last year," Ray said. "I'm long tossing every day and getting my endurance up. I feel it getting there every day. I feel like my stuff has been good and I'm finding some consistency with my command."
Ray seems to be gaining confidence and could become an important asset in a bullpen with some quality late-inning options.