Spring Training '07: Ray Ready to Throw Again

Despite having surgery for a torn labrum last year, Robert Ray is ready to pick up a ball and start pitching just six months after his surgery. Originally thought to be out for most of the 2007 season, Ray is making it his goal to begin with Dunedin in April.

The reason Ray slipped out of the first five rounds in the 2005 draft is because of health concerns. Scouts believed it was only a matter of time before Ray had surgery to his arm and in his first full year in pro ball the inevitable happened.

After being sidelined for two weeks in May, the Texas A&M product, was back on the mound in June, but the pain was too much for him and he finally decided to have surgery.

"The doctor told me every pitcher my age who hasn't had surgery will likely have serious damage in his shoulder at this point and it will only be a matter of time," Ray said as he was preparing for spring training. "

Ray went on to say he agrees that his shoulder issue was a gradual process and one he's been battling for a while now.

"Half of the tear happened when I was in high school and as I pitched in college it got worse. The boiling point was reached last year getting so bad I couldn't pitch with it anymore."

Although he thought it a career damaging move when he had the surgery, Ray is now pleased he has gotten the surgery out of the way and can focus on proving to the organization he's a better and healthier pitcher now than the one they drafted in 2005.

"It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I have to give credit to the doctors for getting me back so quickly."

The 23-year-old expected to be back in June of this year when he had the surgery and had set his goal of finishing the season strong to build for 2008, but his outlook has changed completely. Ray is hoping to get his pitch count up to 45 by the end of spring training and wants to prove to Toronto he's ready for a spot with Dunedin.

"That's certainly my outlook."

Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nThe reason Ray slipped out of the first five rounds in the 2005 draft is because of health concerns. Scouts believed it was only a matter of time before Ray had surgery to his arm and in his first full year in pro ball the inevitable happened.\r\n

\r\nAfter being sidelined for two weeks in May, the Texas A&M product, was back on the mound in June, but the pain was too much for him and he finally decided to have surgery.\r\n

\r\n\r\n\"The doctor told me every pitcher my age who hasn't had surgery will likely have serious damage in his shoulder at this point and it will only be a matter of time,\" Ray said as he was preparing for spring training. \"\r\n

\r\n\r\nRay went on to say he agrees that his shoulder issue was a gradual process and one he's been battling for a while now.\r\n

\r\n\r\n\"Half of the tear happened when I was in high school and as I pitched in college it got worse. The boiling point was reached last year getting so bad I couldn't pitch with it anymore.\"\r\n

\r\n\r\nAlthough he thought it a career damaging move when he had the surgery, Ray is now pleased he has gotten the surgery out of the way and can focus on proving to the organization he's a better and healthier pitcher now than the one they drafted in 2005.\r\n

\r\n\r\n\"It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I have to give credit to the doctors for getting me back so quickly.\"\r\n

\r\n\r\nThe 23-year-old expected to be back in June of this year when he had the surgery and had set his goal of finishing the season strong to build for 2008, but his outlook has changed completely. Ray is hoping to get his pitch count up to 45 by the end of spring training and wants to prove to Toronto he's ready for a spot with Dunedin.\r\n

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