Former Detroit Tigers starting pitcher, Robbie Ray
When it comes to the idea that the Detroit Tigers feel that they need to add an impact start, it will be interesting to see how they define that. Simply put, there are impact pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, and there are impact guys like Robbie Ray.
Ray is vastly different from some of those top-tier guys, but he has seemingly figured things out and become a weapon for any rotation. While he may not have the ability to be the standalone ace of the staff, he could be the teams’ number one arm and embrace it.
Now 30 years old, Ray has not pitched for the Tigers since his first year in the big leagues, which was the 2014 season. He’s a former Tigers player/prospect who was supposed to be one of the best up-and-coming players.
In 2014, the Tigers moved him to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team deal where the team acquired Shane Greene. Since then, Ray has worked at things and developed into a quality left-handed arm that a team could add to their rotation.
It’s another reason to consider adding him. If he can be added as a lefty who helps anchor the rotation, I think he would fill the role of the “impactful arm” the Tigers feel they need to add. Ray has been with the Blue Jays since being acquired by them in 2020.
In 2021, Ray made 32 starts where he was 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, and managed 248 punchouts over 193.1 innings pitched. If the Tigers want to shell out some money but not overpay, Ray might be the guy.
Ray could return to the Tigers, keep Mize as the ace, and be a solid southpaw number two who is able to have success. It takes the pressure off of Skubal, adding another southpaw. It’s something for Avila to consider this offseason, that is for sure.