Fansided
Diamondbacks News

Robbie Ray’s rotation status should not be in question

christophergaine
Sep 16, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) throws during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 16, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) throws during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

It seems as though Robbie Ray is on track to make the Diamondbacks’ rotation. He has yet to allow a run in five spring training innings while striking out six batters. However– whlile likely only a formality– Chip Hale has yet to name Ray his No. 5.

The primary alternative to Ray as the No. 5 starter is prospect Archie Bradley. Despite Bradley’s potential and flashes of brilliance last year, he has allowed three runs and seven hits in 4.2 innings this spring.

Ray’s spot in the rotation should not be in question given his solid showing in 2015 and Bradley’s poor spring performance thus far. A position battle like this is one of the only instances where spring training statistics and output actually matters.

But aside from this microscopic sample size, Ray was one of baseball’s best rookie pitchers last season. His 3.52 ERA was second to just Noah Syndergaard. His nearly identical 3.53 FIP indicates that this ERA was no fluke.  He also showed promise with an above-average 8.39 strikeouts per nine innings last season– striking out 119 batters in 127.2 innings. If Ray can build on this in his second season and throughout his major league career, he will have potential to become a solid pitcher in this league for a long time. Ray may not be an ace just yet but when your No. 5 starter has a 3.52 ERA and above-average strikeout rate, that reflects very well on the rotation.

In the meantime, Bradley pitched through several injuries last year– including a line drive to the face– and posted a 5.80 ERA in eight major league starts. 2009’s seventh overall pick will have plenty of chances in the future, maybe even this season. But Ray simpily represents the best candidate to start in the short term.

Although Ray posesses potential, the one area he will need to work on is his control. He posted a 3.45 walks per nine innings last year, which is below average (2.9 is the Fangraphs average) by Fangraph’s standards.

facebooktwitterreddit