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What is the State of the Dbacks Rotation?

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Jun 6, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Chase Anderson (57) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Anderson

For the time being, this is Anderson’s rotation. It wasn’t too long ago that Anderson was a place holder until Patrick Corbin’s return. Some people just perform better when job security is nonexistent. Count Anderson as one of those who do. Anderson has been head and shoulders above the rest of the rotation in terms of consistency. His 2.82 ERA is by far the most impressive of the original starting rotation, but his two wins remain a sore sight.

After having an insignificant April, Anderson absolutely stole the show in May. During the month, Anderson sported a 2.65 ERA, but with only one victory to his name. Four of Anderson’s six May starts were of the quality variety, yet he suffered from low to no run support. In June he’s picked up right where he left off as he has a 0.71 ERA in the month while collecting his second win.

Jun 14, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Rubby De La Rosa (12) acknowledges a fan on his way to the dugout at the close of the seventh inning at AT&T Park. The Diamondbacks defeated the San Francisco Giants 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Rubby De La Rosa

This is where the instability starts. De La Rosa is the most frustrating pitcher of the bunch. He’s starting to become a true two outcome pitcher. At times he’s shown glimpses of excellence. The best example is his last outing against San Francisco. De La Rosa went 8 scoreless innings and struck out six. He’s also shown signs of incompetence. The best examples are the two starts that proceeded San Francisco. He allowed 9 runs in one and 7 in the other.

Despite his uneasy 5.27 ERA, De La Rosa leads the Dbacks with five victories. Another attractive quality is his above average strikeout ability. In 82 innings, De La Rosa has struck out a team-leading 77 hitters. Unfortunately for him, he also leads the team in runs allowed. If he’s able to produce more starts like his last one, his spot is secure. However, if he continues to allow runs at a rapid pace, he could see the same fate as a certain Opening Day starter.

Jun 16, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) works against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning during the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Hellickson

Hellickson has come a far way from his horrendous start to 2015. In April, Hellickson went 1-3 with a 5.24 ERA. Midway through May it appeared that Hellickson would continue on the same path, one that would lead him straight to the bullpen or even Reno. On May 13, Hellickson’s ERA rose to 5.92 and the Arizona faithful were calling for his removal. Ever since that game, Hellickson has turned things around quite nicely.

Hellickson has provided the Dbacks with a quality start in five of his last six outings. He’s collected three wins during this stretch and has lowered his season ERA to 5.10. It’s going to be a grind to lower his ERA, but if Hellickson can continue to pitch quality starts and keep his team in the game, he’ll continue to own a position in the starting rotation.

Jun 15, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Robbie Ray

It gets (even more) interesting after this point. Ray was originally a spot start against Colorado after Archie Bradley went down with his first injury After an admirable outing (a victorious 6 inning, 5 strikeout effort), Ray was sent back down to Reno. Ray returned to Arizona after Bradley’s second trip to the DL.

So far, he’s refused to be sent down with his great play. Ray’s best outing of the season was his last one against the Los Angeles Angels. He went 7 scoreless innings and took home his second win of the season. In 24.2 innings, Ray has a sparkling 1.09 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. He’s carved out a spot in the rotation for now and deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Jun 13, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Allen Webster (27) prepares to deliver a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Allen Webster

The 25-year old was traded from Los Angeles to Boston in the Gonzalez trade and then traded from Boston to Arizona in the Miley trade. His time in Boston as a youngster was rather brutal. Webster went 6-5 with a 6.25 ERA in two season with the Red Sox. After having a rough start for AAA Reno in 2015 (1-2, 9.00 ERA, 24 K), Webster’s call up raised more than a few eyebrows.

Webster was inserted into the starting rotation after Josh Collmenter’s long awaited (and overdue) demotion to the bullpen. His season debut came against San Francisco and it was a triumphant one. Webster went 5.2 innings and allowed two runs with two hits. Webster is currently slotted in the #5 spot, but a Robbie Ray like performance could help him fight all comers.

Next: The Demoted and The Injured

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