Mariners Notebook: Robbie Ray’s changes not limited to new pitch

Mar 13, 2023, 12:52 PM

Mariners Robbie Ray...

Robbie Ray of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch against the Cubs on March 1, 2023. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Robbie Ray will be back on the hill Monday for the Mariners, and he’ll likely be happy to see opponents in different uniforms as his last throwing session fell on a Mariners’ off day, limiting to a sim game at a quiet complex.

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While Ray is a member of the “new pitch club,” his focus this winter was on much more than just his new splitter. With an amount of certainty he didn’t have last offseason thanks to MLB’s collective bargaining agreement negotiations, he was able to both work on a new strength and conditioning program that could result in a bit more velocity and schedule more time to throw off the mound before he reported to camp.

“Having a normal offseason was huge for me,” Ray said. “I was able to have the normal progression of an offseason going through my throwing program like normal, going through my lifts like normal. I was able to get off the mound earlier.”

This work resulted in some small changes to his delivery that in camp rate so far, so good.

“It feels like it’s more comfortable,” he said. “It’s a little quicker where I am not standing straight on to the batter, a little bit side turned. I can get into my hip a little quicker, and it’s another way to mess with timing.”

Ray has shown a willingness – and ability – to change both in and out of season, which should benefit him moving forward. He could be very interesting to watch in his second season as a Mariner.


Mariners at Angels, 1:10 p.m.
(Game airing on tape delay at 7 p.m. on Seattle Sports – click for schedule)

Kolten Wong, 2B
Ty France, 1B
Cal Raleigh, C
AJ Pollock, LF
Jarred Kelenic, CF
Sam Haggerty, 3B
Tommy La Stella, DH
Leonys Martín, RF
Leonardo Rivas, SS

Robbie Ray, LHP

Pitchers on the travel roster include Bryce Miller, Justin Topa, Gabe Speier and Taylor Saucedo.

Mariners notes

• Shortstop J.P. Crawford, who missed this weekend’s games, is dealing with what manager Scott Servais called a “soggy shoulder.” For those who shudder remembering that was the description given to Drew Smyly, who was lost for the season years ago after his arm was described the same way, know that Servais delivered the line with a smile. Crawford took batting practice each day this weekend and is expected to DH on Tuesday.

• Andrés Muñoz threw Monday morning what was likely his last live BP before entering games. It was quite the sight as coaches made the detour from the parking lot to leave for Tempe to take in the session. Muñoz did not disappoint.

Utility man Dylan Moore, who is expected to return to play midweek after recovering from offseason core surgery, lost his second bat to Muñoz.

• For the latest on how all the Mariners players have been doing in the World Baseball Classic, click the link below.

Mariners World Baseball Classic Check-In: Julio, Geno, Harry and more

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