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Tigers set to call up Robbie Ray for his MLB debut

Apr 30, 2014, 12:32 PM EDT

Robbie Ray Tigers Getty Images

Detroit needs a starter for Tuesday’s game and the Tigers have decided to call up 22-year-old prospect Robbie Ray for his big-league debut.

Ray was acquired from Washington as part of the Doug Fister swap this offseason and, in an amusing little twist, he’ll be making his Tigers debut exactly one day before Fister is scheduled to come off the disabled list and make his Nationals debut.

Ray earned the call-up by posting a 1.59 ERA through five starts at Triple-A, with a 21/5 K/BB ratio in 28 innings. Last season between Single-A and Double-A the left-hander had a 3.36 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 142 innings. And now he’ll face the Astros in his debut.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    K-rate has been going down while he climbs the levels. Not a good sign.

    Well, if he can’t handle the transition, at least the Tiggers also have Steve Lombardozzi from that trade, right? Oh …

    • alkaline19 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      Tigers also get lefty reliever Ian Krol in the trade.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        Oh, well that evens up the trade.

        /s

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        Seeing your username makes me wonder though, how did Al Kaline not end up endorsing Duracells?

      • jerze2387 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Especially with the Alkaline/Power angle. Marketing back then simply wasnt what it is today i guess

    • dluxxx - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      It’s actually a pretty common sign. K rates go down as the competition gets better. In fact, I think it’d be pretty rare to see someone’s K rate go up as they work their way up the ladder.

      I’m sure there are some examples of K rates going up, but the trend is typically a decrease.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        Of course, but it’s a matter of degrees.

        High A – 10.7 k/9
        AA – 9.3 k/9
        AAA – 6.7 k/9

        Not a large enough sample size to be more definitive, but it suggests to me that he requires more seasoning at a minimum.

      • dluxxx - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        Yeah, that is quite the drop from AA to AAA, but you already pointed out the small sample size. It’ll be interesting to see how he does over a full season. This is just a spot start anyway, right? I’m assuming he’ll head back to AAA and we’ll get some more innings to evaluate him there.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        You need to be a strikeout pitcher in order to pitch in the Bigs? 6k per 9 is not good enough?

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        6 K/9 in a league where the league average is 7+ would probably not be good enough, and Ray isn’t really a groundball pitcher.

      • dluxxx - Apr 30, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        The Minnesota Twins haven’t been league average in years… And it shows in their record…

    • timmmah10 - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      The ERA went down also though… and the walk rate also went down. This could be an adjustment in being a pitcher than a thrower, which can be attributed to a coaching change. Ray was never pegged to be more than a third starter in the WAS organization, which is exactly what Fister was for the Tigers… and will be for the Nats.

      I also thought that the Fister trade was brutal, and I thought trading Lombardozzi for a washed up Gonzales was equally as bad (and turned out as so). Krol has been misused by the Tigers, as he should just be a LOOGY. But if Ray pans out as a decent SP in the MLB, then the Fister trade doesn’t look too bad.

      Tigers needed another Lefty SP arm in their farm system, and Ray gives them that. Remember at one time the general consensus of the Grandy/Edwin Jackson for Scherzer/AJax trade was viewed as a poor move, but time showed it was another Dumbrowski steal. Before you get snarky with the comments, give it time.

  2. proudlycanadian - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    A Ray of hope for the Tigers!

  3. philliesblow - Apr 30, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    “And now he’ll face the Astros in his debut.”

    Shouldn’t be much tougher than the AAA teams he’s been facing all season.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 30, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      A great way to ease in, eh?

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