ESPN Insider: D-backs need Robbie Ray to bounce back in July

Jul 5, 2018, 10:37 AM

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray throws a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals dur...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray throws a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, July 2, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

As the MLB season continues to push toward the trade deadline, the Arizona Diamondbacks roster is looking for consistency, especially in the rotation and outfield, which have dealt with a lot of moving parts due to injury.

The D-backs have relied on Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke for regular production, but ESPN Insider Dan Szymborski has identified another integral player who must perform for Arizona to make a pennant run: Robbie Ray.

One of the driving forces of the Diamondbacks this year has been the starting pitching, and when the team was terrorizing the league in April, it was in large part because of a rotation in which the average starter was pitching like Chris Sale.

Ray has an 18-6 record for the D-backs since the start of the 2017 season. As a team, the D-backs are 25-11 in regular season games Ray has pitched in since 2017. He finished fifth in the MLB in ERA last year and sports a 13.5 strikeout-per-nine ratio this year.

Teaming with Greinke and Patrick Corbin, Ray could give the D-backs the best 1-2-3 punch at the top of the rotation in all of baseball, if he returns to form from 2017.

Ray suffered an oblique injury against the Washington Nationals on April 29, which sidelined him until June 27. In that June 27 start against the Miami Marlins, Ray was phenomenal throwing a six-inning, two-hit, two-walk shutout while striking out six.

However, Ray followed that performance up with a clunker against the St. Louis Cardinals Monday, pitching five innings while giving up six earned runs and two homers. It was the first loss taken on his record in a regular season game since July 23, 2017.

For the D-backs to make a real postseason push, they need Ray to regain his All-Star form from 2017. Ray is scheduled to start Saturday at home against the San Diego Padres. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. and the game can be heard on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.


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