The Arizona Diamondbacks attempted to upgrade their starting rotation by making a series of deals. One of them involved bringing over left-hander Robbie Ray while trading away shortstop Didi Gregorius. Ray, a 12th round selection in the 2010 Draft by the Washington Nationals, was making his third organizational stop in his brief career as he arrived from the Detroit Tigers. He started this season at Triple A Reno before being called up by the D-backs in May for one start before being brought up for good in June. Let’s pick up his season from that point.
Ray’s live arm, which sees his fastball routinely hit the mid-90’s struck out 119 batters in 127 2/3 innings. Once brought up from the Minors for good, he did not miss a start, making 23 in all. He led all D-backs’ starters with a 3.52 ERA, at least half a run better than the next closest pitcher. Ray also had something other Snakes’ starters haven’t had over the last couple of seasons: success against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ray went 2-2 but sported a 2.28 ERA in four starts vs. the team’s most heated rival.
Ray threw an enormous amount of pitches per start, resulting in an average of less than six innings per outing. He went seven plus innings only three times, taxing an overworked bullpen. Over his last eight starts, Ray only went six innings twice. He also walked 49 batters or about one every two and a half innings. The failure of Ray to put batters away in a timely fashion contributed to his high pitch counts.
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Like Rubby De La Rosa, this was Ray’s first attempt at remaining in Major League starting rotation for a significant portion of the season. The results were clearly mixed. However, at 24 years old and with a tremendous arm, Ray is going to get some chances to remain in in a starting rotation, be it in Arizona or somewhere else. In order for him to be in the Snakes’ future, he must work on putting hitters away more quickly. Call it a glass half-full for Robbie Ray’s performance for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015.