D-backs’ Robbie Ray encouraged despite results against Astros

Aug 8, 2020, 9:00 AM
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
(AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Robbie Ray’s time in an Arizona Diamondbacks uniform has been filled with moments of grandeur when the lefty is dominating with his overpowering fastball and moments of frustration when he loses the zone and accumulates high pitch counts early in games.

The 28-year-old’s windup has undergone some changes in the past few months in an attempt to throw more strikes.

Ray’s new delivery features him bringing his hands above his head prior to delivering the ball.

After strong appearances in summer training with the new delivery, he struggled in two losses to begin the season, leaving both times prior to the 5th inning with pitch counts above 90.

“I was just kind of getting a little bit stagnant with my arm swing, it was kind of just going straight up,” Ray said during a Zoom call with the media on Friday. 

Ray added a glove tap to his revamped windup on Wednesday night against the Astros, which he said allows him to keep his rhythm during the delivery.

He allowed six runs to the Astros in a 14-7 D-backs victory during his first start with the glove tap, but was able to complete five innings.

“I think my timing was way better and I think the glove tap allowed me to get my timing down,” Ray said.

While Ray says his timing was much better on Wednesday than his first two starts of 2020, he blamed the runs scored on his inability to locate his slider.

All of the runs Ray allowed on Wednesday came via the long ball and were each hit off of his fastball.

“I feel like in the first three innings I was kind of predictable, I wasn’t able to land my slider for a strike,” Ray said.

Ray threw 37 sliders in the game, 16 for strikes.

“It was almost like they said see spin and don’t swing,” he said. 

Ray believes the results on Wednesday would have been different if he was able to throw his sliders for strikes and felt encouraged with the progress he made despite what is listed on the box score.

“I feel like I’m starting to piece it together,” Ray said.

He’s scheduled to be out on the mound again for Monday’s opener against the Colorado Rockies.

First pitch is 5:40 p.m. and can be heard on ESPN 620 AM.

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