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Chris Ray

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Chris Ray

A photo of Chris Ray.

Christopher Thomas Ray (born January 12, 1982, in Tampa, Florida) is a current Major League closer for the Baltimore Orioles.

Ray graduated from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida, [1] and was drafted in the third round of the 2003 MLB amateur draft out of The College of William and Mary. He spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons in the Orioles minor league system before being called up in June of 2005. He bats and throws right-handed and wears #37.

In 2005, Ray allowed only 2 earned runs in just under 20 innings. However, during the month of August, Ray was optioned to the Orioles' Class AA affiliate, the Bowie Baysox. His stint at Bowie was brief, as he was called up again in late August. The second stint with the Orioles saw Ray allow 4 earned runs in 16 innings. Ray finished 2005 with a 2.66 ERA in 40 innings pitched over 41 games, compiling a win-loss record of 1-3 with 8 holds. Ray also compiled a 1.28 WHIP.

The Orioles coaching staff had been so impressed by Ray's 2005 season that they were considering him their closer of the future. But, since the Orioles have had little success with rushing prospects into big league roles, they planned to ease Ray into the closer role sometime in 2007. However, closer B.J. Ryan left the Orioles as a free agent to the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Orioles were unable to sign a closer on the free agent market to serve as a short term solution, causing Ray to be the Orioles' de facto closer.

Closer career Edit

Chris Ray became the full-time closer of Baltimore Orioles for the start of the 2006 season. Ray had a very successful first season as the closer for the O's. Ray compiled 33 SV, 2.73 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 66 IP, 45 H, 27 BB, 51 K and an opponent batting average of just .193. Given his success the Orioles stuck with Ray as their closer for the 2007 regular season. However, his success would not carry over, resulting in a sub par year. During the 2007 season Ray's numbers dropped to 16 SV, 4.43 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 42.2 IP, 35 H, 18 BB, 44 K.[2]

Among the worst moments of the 2007 Regular Season for Chirs Ray was, what is regarded by Orioles' fans as, the "Mother's Day Massacre"[3]. On May 13, 2007 the Orioles took a 5 run lead into the 9th inning behind the pitching of Jeremy Guthrie. Chris Ray was brought on in relief of Danys Baez with 1 out in the 9th inning while the Orioles held a 5-1 lead with 2 runners on base. Ray retired only 1 batter and botched a chance to win the game when he dropped a ball while attempting to cover first base.[4] Ray allowed 3 runs (2 earned) along with allowing both inherited runners to score, arguably the worst performance of his career.

Ray underwent Tommy John surgery on August 17, 2007 and is expected to miss the 2008 MLB Season [5].

References Edit

  1. Home offers no respite for Rays
  2. ESPN - Chris Ray Stats, News, Photos - Baltimore Orioles
  3. The Bad Oriole: Mother's Day Massacre
  4. ESPN - Orioles vs. Red Sox - Recap - May 13, 2007
  5. ESPN - O's closer Ray expected to miss '08 season after having Tommy John surgery - MLB

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