Chris Ray Called Up To Baltimore

 July 15, 2005


He was taken in the third round of the 2003 Major League baseball draft by the Baltimore Orioles. A graduate of the College of William & Mary in Virginia it wasnít that long ago that Chris Ray stood on the mound for the Bourne Braves. In fact it was the summer of 2002 that Ray pitched for Bourne, earning for himself a trip to the all-star game that year.

Last June 13, Ray was called up from Double-A Bowie joining Baltimoreís major league club. Since arriving on the big stage, he has faced some tough situations and shown that he is ready to pitch in the show.

Ray was the highest selection in the MLB draft in his schoolís history. In 2002 with the Bourne Braves, he made 20 appearances all in relief, posting a 1.93 ERA with 10 saves. In 28 innings of work, he struck out 38 while giving up just five walks.

In 2003 with the Bowie Baysox, he set a team record for consecutive saves in a season with 15. In 32 and two-thirds innings, he posted an ERA of 1.10 with 37 strikeouts and just six walks.

This May, Ray was named the Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the month with a record of 1-0, an ERA of 1.80, and seven saves.

"The kidís got a live arm," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli told the Baltimore Sun. "Our people feel heís ready."

The 23-year-old Ray has given up one run in 10 appearances with the big club has struck out 15, and walked just three in 11 and two-thirds innings of work. His fastball can either cut or sink and has been clocked between 94 and 99 mph. His ERA of 0.77 is one of the few bright lights in a bullpen that is struggling. "You feel like you have to protect him when he comes up and you want to put him in a situation where he can succeed early on," Mazzilli told the Baltimore Sun. "But Iím not too sure how much more protection he needs. This kidís got some talent. To me, right now, I donít feel like Iím afraid to put him in any spot. That shows a lot of confidence in him. This kidís got fire in his belly."


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