Robbie Ray is not traveling with Mariners to Toronto series

MLB

Manager Scott Servais said Ray will rejoin the team Thursday in Boston for a four-game series against the Red Sox.

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) throws against the New York Mets in the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 15, 2022, in New York. Noah K. Murray/The Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — Mariners’ left-hander Robbie Ray is not coming to Seattle for a series in Toronto this week, missing an opportunity to celebrate the Cy Young Award he won with the Blue Jays last season amid border restrictions-related COVID-19 has won vaccination.

Ray faced the Mets in New York on Sunday and then stayed in the United States while teammates traveled to Canada for the series opener on Monday.

There was no locker for Ray in the Toronto Mariners clubhouse. Manager Scott Servais said Ray will rejoin the team Thursday in Boston for a four-game series against the Red Sox. He didn’t elaborate on the left-hander’s absence.

To enter the country, the Canadian government requires a person to have received a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine — or a dose of Johnson & Johnson — at least 14 days prior to entry.

Players placed on the blacklist for not being vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be paid and will not receive major league service, according to a March agreement between Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association.

The agreement also stipulates that a pitcher who has pitched at least four consecutive innings in a game cannot be replaced until three days have elapsed on the active list.

The Mariners used a day off on May 12 to change their rotation, so Ray started Sunday in New York, where he conceded five runs in six innings to improve to 4-3.

Ray went 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA and a career-high 248 strikeouts in 32 starts for Toronto last season, when pro athletes were exempt from COVID-19 limit regulations.

Ray then signed a $115 million deal in November, a five-year deal with Seattle. He would have lost $346,154 if he had been blacklisted for not being eligible to accompany the team to Canada. Border exceptions for athletes ended in January.

The Mariners suspended Drew Steckenrider Monday, a move that could cost the right-hander $51,099 of his $3.1 million salary. Steckenrider is 0-1 with two saves and a 4.85 ERA in 14 relief appearances. The series is Seattle’s only regular season visit to Toronto.

Seattle selected the contract of left-hander Roenis Elías from Triple-A Tacoma. He had joined the Mariners at Citi Field on Sunday in anticipation of being included in the big league’s active roster.

Elías signed a minor league contract with the Mariners on April 1. He previously worked for Seattle in 2014 and ’15 and again in 2018 and ’19. He has also served for Boston and Washington.

Elías, 33, last played in the majors with the Nationals in 2019. He had a 4.30 ERA in one start and 10 relief appearances at Triple-A Tacoma, batting 11 and walking four in 14 2/3 innings.

https://www.boston.com/sports/mlb/2022/05/17/robbie-ray-doesnt-travel-with-mariners-to-toronto-series/ Robbie Ray is not traveling with Mariners to Toronto series

Matthew Hallett

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