With most effort, a Chapman-style supply, an intimidating presence and a two-pitch combine (he throws a fastball or slider 90 % of the time), Ray is basically a better disguised as a starter — an uncommon system for sturdiness. But by lastly unlocking his management, Ray forces hitters to swing, which limits his pitches and lets him work deeper in video games.
“Opposing hitters know precisely what he desires to do, however he sticks to it,” mentioned Toronto infielder Jake Lamb, a former teammate in Arizona. “When you could have an elite fastball and the hitters have to fret about it, it makes his slider that significantly better.”
Ray has a robust competitor for the Cy Younger Award in Cole, the Yankees’ ace, who ranks second to Ray in E.R.A. and strikeouts and has 15 wins to Ray’s 12. However nevertheless the voting finally ends up, Ray has received the guess he made on himself.
“I didn’t wish to look again and want I had finished one thing completely different,” he mentioned. “I felt like I used to be being true to myself to only be that man.”
By that, he means a man like Johnson, the pitcher he most admired, who has delighted from afar at his former pupil’s progress. Johnson by no means tried to repair Ray’s mechanics, the important parts of his transformation. However in serving to sharpen the psychological fringe of one other younger, wild lefty, Johnson made an affect.
“He inevitably might be the ace of the workers, a man you can construct the rotation round — I believe he’s that type of pitcher, and it appears like issues have clicked,” Johnson mentioned. “Left-handers, possibly we’re slightly bit slower builders. I do know I used to be. However he’s actually come into his personal, and I couldn’t be extra completely satisfied for him.”