Thursday, July 18, 2019


Some baseball insiders seem to think that Robbie Ray is the answer to the Yankees pitching search. I could be in the minority here but, I'm not sold. I've seen enough of him the past couple of years here in Arizona to know that he has some issues. Some of these issues just won't translate well in Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees are going to continue to be linked to every starting pitcher that may or may not be available....along with numerous other teams. In fact, the Astros, Phillies and now the Brewers are also looking at Ray according to Jon Heyman. I get it, nothing wrong with looking and depth is good. I just don't think the Yankees will get the return they expect out of him.

Maybe I am wrong. I mean, Peter Gammons is sold on him. Maybe I have watched him too much and just know how to spot what I don't like about him.

I think Ray would be a good addition to a contending team as long as they understand what they are getting from him. If he's traded his new team gets one more year of team control from arbitration which is always a good thing. Ray can be exciting to watch. He is a strike-out pitcher with almost 12 strikeouts per nine rate and as attractive as that is, it also comes with concessions. This is where I say I am not sold on Ray.....

I like the strikeouts, who wouldn't? I don't like the walks at 4.5 per nine rate and I especially don't like that if he's pitching at Yankee stadium. If you walk too many guys at Yankee stadium things can get away from you fast. Yankee stadium is too hitter friendly, Chase field is pretty hitter friendly also but they don't have the short right porch to worry about. It really doesn't matter WHERE Ray would pitch, unless he can get the walks under control it is going to be a problem. Right now he has 56 walks for the season, on pace to break his record for walks in a season and is a league leader in walks. Not a good combination.

The home runs would also concern me. So far he has 16 for the season, his career high is 24. He also has control issues so a home run prone pitcher in Yankee stadium is also worth considering. I have a hard time imagining how a NL pitcher with a 3.81 ERA is going to be effective at Yankee stadium. It won't especially with too many walks and home runs added into the equation.

I just don't see how this would make the Yankees pitching staff better, but maybe I am wrong. I think Ray is an option, but I also think there are other options out there that the Yankees should give equal consideration to. Gammons may like Ray, but I'm not sold. I don't think he is the upgrade the Yankee are looking for.

--Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj

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