Mariners place LHP Robbie Ray on IL after rocky 1st start of 2023

Apr 1, 2023, 1:36 PM | Updated: 1:40 pm

Mariners Robbie Ray...

Robbie Ray of the Seattle Mariners reacts against the Cleveland Guardians on March 31, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Mariners didn’t have a starting pitcher land on the injured list last year, or even miss a schedule start. That’s already not the case in 2023 after just two games.

On Saturday, the Mariners placed left-handed starter Robbie Ray on the 15-day injured list with a left flexor strain. In a corresponding move, the M’s recalled left-handed reliever Gabe Speier from Triple-A Tacoma.

Ray, 31, lasted just 3 1/3 innings against the Guardians on Friday, allowing five runs, three of which were earned. He walked five batters, allowed four hits, struck out three and also made a throwing error on a strange play early in the game that resulted in two runs scoring.

Ray threw 91 pitches on Friday and just 51 were strikes. After the game, Ray said he felt his fastball was “kind of misfiring” up and out of the zone, and a lot of his pitches were “non-competitive.”

Ray joined the Mariners ahead of the 2022 season, a year after he won the American League Cy Young Award while with the Toronto Blue Jays. He posted a 3.71 ERA across 32 starts in 189 innings. He had a very strong spring training for the Mariners, who were excited about his increased fastball velocity and the look of his fastball-slider combo.

The good news for the Mariners is they have a proven MLB starter ready to slide into Ray’s rotation spot in Chris Flexen. Flexen was Seattle’s best starter in 2021 and was in the rotation for most of 2022 before the M’s acquired Luis Castillo. Flexen then moved to the bullpen, and he broke camp this year as the long man in the ‘pen.

Flexen made his 2023 debut on Friday, throwing four innings and allowing one run. He walked three, allowed four hits and picked up one strikeout.

With Flexen having pitched in a game Ray started, it should be a smooth transition for him in terms of rest and the team’s turn through the rotation. Assuming Flexen does indeed take Ray’s turn in the rotation, his next start would be next Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels.

Steven Kwan leads Guardians’ outburst in 9-4 win over Mariners

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Mostly Cloudy
High 68° | Low 50°
Roof is open
Astros at Mariners today at 6:40pm

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners Dylan Moore Astros 2024...

Cameron Van Til

First-place Mariners host AL West rival Astros: 3 things to know

As the Seattle Mariners get set to host AL West rival Houston in a four-game series, here are three things to know about the Astros.

3 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Ty France Red Sox 2024...

Shannon Drayer

Drayer: How Mariners are trying to find more consistency at plate

Seattle Mariners insider Shannon Drayer takes a look at how the M's are attempting to turn things around for their offense.

4 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Ty France Dylan Moore...

Brent Stecker

Morosi: It’s ‘exactly the right time’ for Mariners to go all-in on trades

"There is probably no clearer textbook case of when to go for it then right now if you're the Seattle Mariners," MLB Network's Jon Morosi said.

7 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Logan Gilbert Nationals 2024...

Shannon Drayer

Drayer: How Mariners pulling Gilbert points to bigger picture

Seattle Mariners insider Shannon Drayer dives into why the M's pulled starter Logan Gilbert after just 78 pitches in Saturday's 3-1 loss.

22 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodriguez trident Nationals 2024...

Harvey Valentine

Julio stars as Mariners snap 4-game skid, rally to beat Nationals 9-5

Julio Rodríguez homered and had four RBIs as the Seattle Mariners rallied to snap their skid with a 9-5 win over the Washington Nationals.

1 day ago

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodriguez homer Nationals 2024...

Cameron Van Til

Watch: Mariners CF Julio Rodríguez homers in 2nd straight game

Seattle Mariners star Julio Rodríguez went deep for the second straight day after homering just twice in his first 52 games of the season.

1 day ago

Mariners place LHP Robbie Ray on IL after rocky 1st start of 2023