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Rubby De La Rosa earns spot in Diamondbacks rotation

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Rubby De La Rosa throws to the San Francisco Giants the first inning of a baseball game on Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Three spots in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ rotation were already filled, and rightfully so.

It was maybe a surprise, then, that D-backs manager Chip Hale named Rubby De La Rosa his fourth starting pitcher on Saturday, telling reporters, including MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert, that the righty “deserves” to be in the rotation based on his 2015 season.

De La Rosa went 14-9 in 32 starts for Arizona last season, posting a 4.67 ERA.

Though he led the team in wins, some advanced stats such as wins above replacement would raise caution regarding his effectiveness and consistency. De La Rosa did rank sixth of qualified MLB pitchers in run support, with the D-backs scoring 5.16 runs per start with him on the mound.

The 26-year-old will start behind Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin, likely in that order.

The fifth spot in the Diamondbacks’ rotation is up for grabs.

Archie Bradley, Tyler Wagner and Zack Godley could fight for the last starting role, but lefty Robbie Ray might be the clear favorite. Ray, 24, showed flashes with high strike-out rates but struggled with his tempo and high pitch counts in 2015, when he finished 5-12 with a 3.52 ERA in 23 starts.

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