Ray to have shoulder examined

Orioles' Ray to have shoulder examined

ANAHEIM -- The Orioles left here for Seattle on Sunday, but they did so without former closer Chris Ray. Ray, who missed all of last season while recovering from surgery on his right elbow, will have his pitching shoulder examined by team physicians in Baltimore to ascertain the root of his current discomfort.

Ray, who has struggled to find a consistent arm slot this season, walked the only two batters he faced in Sunday's 9-6 loss to the Angels, both with the bases loaded. The right-hander met with manager Dave Trembley and Andy MacPhail, the team's president of baseball operations, after the game to discuss a possible course of action.

Ray declined to comment about the condition of his arm but spoke to how he felt on the mound.

"My arm slot was down," said Ray. "I could feel it. I just couldn't get my arm up. That's why everything was going off the outside corner. Today was one of the first times since I've been back up that I couldn't find my arm angle."

Ray, who underwent ligament replacement surgery on his pitching elbow late in the 2007 season, spent all of '08 working back to form. The former third-round draftee didn't allow an earned run in Spring Training but has posted a 9.28 ERA this season. Baltimore optioned him to Norfolk in late May in an effort to ease his comfort.

And while that worked temporarily, it hasn't been a permanent fix. The Orioles brought him back to the big leagues on June 23, and Ray has allowed six earned runs and 12 hits in his last six innings. It's gotten to the point where the Orioles aren't sure when they can use him or if he's even healthy enough to pitch.

"It's been a mentally tough year. You've got to keep going," said Ray. "You still have a half-season to play. My confidence is fine. I feel like I can get anybody in the game out. It's just making sure I have the right arm angle."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.