My line: 64 IP, 3.17 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 68 K, 29 SV
The community line (my projection included):
IP ERA WHIP K SV 73 3.34 1.28 76 30
Seems safe, reasonable, and encouraging. I was pretty sure the majority of us had faith in Chris Ray as our closer. What I spent most of the offseason worrying about was that the Orioles might not. People questioned Ryan going into last season, and not that Ray has had two outstanding seasons as one of the most dominant setup men in baseball like Ryan did, but Ray has the stuff and seems to have the makeup to close. He never looked intimidated in the bigs last season, and it was his first shot. He went after hitters and just did his thing, and as a result, he was really our second-best reliever behind Ryan over his 41 appearances.
I'm happy that the O's are going with Ray rather than an in-house retread like Julio or one of the mediocre veterans that was out there, Turd Jones and Braden Looper being the two that really scared me as potential O's pickups, and with the money that Ryan ended up getting, I'm cautiously happy that we decided Ryan could be replaced. Ray is sure to have his rough spots, no one expects him to be Mariano Rivera right out of the gate. And he probably isn't going to do what Huston Street did for Oakland last year. When I was first thinking about it, I thought maybe Ray could have a season comparable to Street's, then I realized just how good Huston Street really was. I had completely forgotten that he put up a 1.72 ERA in his first 78 major league innings.
The projection above would more than meet expectations for Ray, I think, and I would also bet it beats whatever line Julio, Jones or Looper will put up in '05.