Welcome to the bigs, kid

With his new team – the Toronto Blue Jays – just 15 hours removed from improving its record to 16-9 following a Roy Halladay-led 8-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles Friday night, rookie right-hander Robert Ray will take the mound for his Major League debut this afternoon at the Rogers Centre.robert-ray

Riddled with injuries, the Jays’ pitching staff is so thin that the team will actually witness another Major League debut on Tuesday night. That’s when top pitching prospect Brett Cecil is scheduled to take the mound against the Cleveland Indians, filling in for the recently demoted Brian Burres.

Never before have the Toronto Blue Jays sent out two starters for their Major League debuts in the same month – let alone within four days of each other.

In 2008, the Jays saw two pitchers make their debut as a starter. David Purcey saw his first big-league action on April 18 against the Detroit Tigers. Much like he did this season before being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, the left-handed Purcey struggled with his command during that start, walking seven batters in just 4.1 innings of work. He allowed one earned run on two hits – both doubles – en route to picking up a no-decision in an 8-4 Toronto loss.

Scott Richmond, meanwhile, made his ML debut on July 30 against the Tampa Bay Rays. In 5.1 innings, Richmond gave up three runs on seven hits while striking out four batters in a 3-2 Jays loss.

Overall, 27 pitchers have made their Major League debuts as a starter for the Blue Jays since the franchise was born in 1977. That group includes Jerry Garvin (1977), Jim Clancy (1977), Dave Stieb (1979), Juan Guzman (1991), Chris Carpenter (1997) and Roy Halladay (1998).

In those 27 starts, they’ve combined to put up the following numbers: 9-11 with seven no-decisions and a 4.82 ERA (76 ER in 142.0 IP).

Perhaps the most forgettable performance came from Jeff Ware, who made his debut on Sept. 2, 1995 on the road against the Chicago White Sox. In just 1.1 innings, Ware allowed seven runs – six earned – on seven hits and three walks during a 10-4 loss.

Arguably the best performance came from Jesse Litsch just two seasons ago. On May 15, 2007, the right-hander surrendered just one run on four hits and three walks over a franchise-best 8.2 innings en route to a 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Robert Ray will face those same Orioles this afternoon. How will he fare? Stay tuned …

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3 Responses to “Welcome to the bigs, kid”

  1. eyebleaf Says:

    The Orioles are a tough team to make your debut against. Roberts, Jones, Markakis, Huff, Mora, Scott … good hitters.

  2. Lucas Says:

    Can’t complain about his start, other than that dinger to start the game off the kid did pretty well.

  3. TD Says:

    Yep, I mean he did everything that was asked of him. Give up three runs or less? The offense can take care of that.

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