New Giants pitcher Ray details recovery from Tommy John surgery

New Giants pitcher Ray details recovery from Tommy John surgery originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The recent acquisition of southpaw Robbie Ray on paper bolsters a Giants rotation that yearns for support around star Logan Webb. 

However, Ray, the 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner, is recovering from Tommy John surgery and tentatively is scheduled to return after the MLB All-Star break, a process he detailed in a video call with reporters Friday.

“I’m feeling really good, everything’s feeling good,” Ray said. “Elbow’s feeling great, body’s feeling great. Really excited to be working with the training staff [in San Francisco] -- they’ve already helped me out a ton -- super thankful for that. I’m not really sure about timelines. I think, tentatively, sometime early Spring Training. Get off the mound nice and easy, feel the slope. And then best-case scenario, after the All-Star break, make a return.”

Ray also emphasized the progression of his elbow and how the Giants are communicative and supportive during his rehabilitation process.

“Talking with guys that I’ve met since I’ve been [in San Francisco] and guys that I’ve known from before, they have nothing but good things to say about this [Giants] training staff and the way that they help out and the way they get guys to come back strong,” Ray shared. “The short time that I have been here and been able to work with them has been great.”

Most notably, Ray has enjoyed being a part of San Franciso’s organization despite being in the Bay Area for less than a month.

While Ray has known players like Alex Cobb for some time, he values the relationships he’s building with his new colleagues.

“I’ve had nothing but good experiences since I’ve been here,” Ray explained. “I’ve had nothing but good interactions with the training staff, with the front office, with Farhan Zaidi, with Bob Melvin and Bryan Price, getting to meet those guys and spend a little time with them. So far, my interactions with everybody have been great.”

Ray has tossed in 1228.0 big-league innings across his 10-year career, good for a 3.96 ERA, 1,505 strikeouts and a 74-71 record.

Throughout his phenomenal ‘21 campaign, Ray was rolling on all cylinders, both mentally and physically -- a state he is pushing to return to with the Giants.

“[2021] was just kind of a culmination of the mental and physical side of baseball that just came together all at once. And I felt like I always had the mentality of being able to go deep into games and get the strikeout when I needed to.

“I think in ‘21 my body was where it was physically where it needed to be. In my mind, I still had that same mindset of, ‘I’m just going to go out and attack guys because I know my stuff is better than yours.’”

Ray is optimistic about returning to full strength for San Francisco as Tommy John surgery continues to modernize, benefitting pitchers.

“For me, my number one goal is to get healthy,” Ray declared. “We’ve come a long way. I think that the science and everything behind [Tommy John surgery] and the way that they do it now, it’s super advanced. Talking to guys in the past that have had the surgery and the rehab they would go through…you just kind of laugh because they didn’t really do a whole lot and just to see the evolution of the surgery itself but the rehab process as well is kind of interesting to see.

“I’ve been able to bounce back really well. I think, from a throwing standpoint, that’s been huge because in the past, maybe felt some soreness or something. But it’s almost like a brand-new elbow. Not only did I get Tommy John, but I also got flexor tendon surgery as well. So, I got a full reconstruction. And it feels like I got a brand-new elbow -- something I haven’t felt in 10 years.”

Ray is uncertain when he’ll debut with the Giants, but the 32-year-old appreciates his experience in San Francisco so far.

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