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February 18, 2009

Orioles: Ray's rebound

raykapustin.jpgReliever Chris Ray looked very good on the practice mound yesterday, but maybe it's more important how good he felt today when he woke up. He said his arm feels great and he's very happy with the results of his surgery and rehab.

"I had already thrown about 12 bullpens before yesterday,'' he said. "Everything feels great."

Of course, he was pitching at the end of last year, so it's no surprise that he's throwing without restriction now. He probably could have come off his rehab assignment to pitch last September, but the club slow-played him to make sure he would be in optimum shape -- both physically and mentally -- this season.

"I probably could have pitched, but I didn't think my command was as good as it could have been,'' Ray said, "The last thing you want to do is go out there and get hit around at the end of the year."

So he's been chomping at the bit to get here this spring.

"This offseason felt like forever,'' Ray said. "Usually, players talk about how it seems too short, but it felt like it would never end."

Sun photo by Doug Kapustin

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 11:21 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Just baseball


Good to hear about Ray, I have a feeling that even if Sherrill is the opening day closer Ray will have the job by the end of the year.

I am hoping that Ray returns to form; it would help the bullpen out a lot haviing two closers and potentially 3 with Johnson thrown in the mix. If the Orioles have the lead after 6, the 7th, 8th and 9th innings will mostly belong to the Orioles.

The starters on the other hand will have to make it 6 innings and only giving up 4 or less runs.

Could Matsuz see the BIGS this year or do you think the FO keeps him in the minors for a whole year? Do you think Matsuz is the closest to the majors out of the other highly touted arms (Tillman, Arrieta etc)?

Does a good spring for Ray mean a trade of Sherrill?

Pete's reply: I doubt that.

Pete, can we get your thoughts on the closer situation?

I'm not opposed to a tandem effort, but with Ray's gas and slider, especially if he's healthy, I think he should be the full time guy.

A) I think it's best to have one guy assigned to the role, so he can focus strictly on that

B) I think with Sherrill's softer stuff, he'd be better in a tandem with Johnson for the setup can use them both in the 7th and 8th as the situation requires.

Anyway, your thoughts?

Pete's reply: I think one of them will be the predominant closer, and it likely will be Ray if he stays healthy all spring. But there's nothing wrong with having two guys who can close, if they can get the lead to the eighth or ninth inning. That gives Trembley the luxury of using one of them in a key seventh or eighth inning situation is the game is on the line early.

Hi Peter,

Love your stuff. It's great that a diehard fan exiled in RedSoxVille and can't get the Sun print edition can still get lots of inside info on a real team.

Sorry to be a pain if folks have already pointed this out from the Chris Ray post. Betcha never thought you'd see the "Encyclopedia of Farm Animal Behavior" quoted in your most excellent blog. Look out for mating boars.


"Champing at the bit"
If someone is eager or anxious to do something, they are said to be champing at the bit, (not chomping at the bit. Nor chomping on the bit).
CHAMPING: Repetitious, strong opening and closing action of the mouth which produces sounds when the teeth hit together. Champing in swine may be a threat signal, but also is performed by boars during courtship and mating. Definition from Hurnik et al., 1995.
The Encyclopedia of Farm Animal Behavior

Pete's reply: You're right. That's info you can't get anywhere else but the comments section of The Schmuck Stops Here.

I hope Ray has much more movement on his fastball and can throw an effective change-up. Doesn't anyone remember that he gave up a lot of home runs with his very fast, but straight delivery?

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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