The Diamondback starting pitching — outside of Chase Anderson — has left a lot to be desired this year.
Short starts night-in and night-out have led to a worn-out bullpen — starters with earned run averages of 4.88 (Jeremy Hellickson), 5.24 (Josh Collmenter), 5.80 (Archie Bradley) and 5.84 (Ruby De la Rosa). And a lot of home runs allowed: 14 by De la Rosa, 13 by Collmenter and 9 by Hellickson.
In a nutshell, the starting rotation — outside of Anderson — has been garbage.
Watching Robbie Ray pitch well again Tuesday night in a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers was a shot in the arm. Ray has now thrown three well pitched games and he gives Arizona hope that they may just have something in the talented hard-throwing left-hander they acquired in a three-team trade that sent Didi Gregorious to New York.
Ray is just 23 years old has a power arm with a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s and throws four pitches.
In his first start and Diamondbacks debut, he went six innings, giving up a run on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts in a 5-1 win over the Rockies in early May. Ray struck out Troy Tulowitzki on a 97 mph heater.
Ray’s second start went five innings not allowing a run while giving up six hits, a walk and striking out four in a 6-2 loss to the Mets.
Tuesday he left a 1-1 game with two outs and one on in the seventh. The inherited runner scored when, who else, but Addison Reed allowed a double and a two-run single.
Ray’s overall line was a solid 6.2 innings, two runs, four hits, four walks and four strikeouts. His ERA sits at a very nice 1.53 and he’s earned himself a few more starts to prove he belongs.
Going forward, a rotation of Patrick Corbin, Anderson, Hellickson, Bradley and Ray could be good and may be good enough to help the D-backs hang around.
Collmenter could move to long relief when Corbin is back and De la Rosa has options. He could go to the minors to work on keeping the ball in the ballpark.
Ray has always been a good prospect but with the way he has been throwing he may just be ready to prove that he’s a good major league pitcher that can be counted on every fifth day.