Tony La Russa: Robbie Ray’s development is very exciting

Sep 23, 2015, 11:56 AM
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray throws to the plate during the first inning of a b...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
LISTEN: Tony La Russa, Diamondbacks chief baseball officer

At 23, Robbie Ray is still young compared to the rest of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching staff, but he’s growing up right before Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa’s eyes.

“He’s a power pitcher but he’s starting to have some finesse where he’s not just throwing the breaking ball to throw it but he’s making pitches with it. It’s all very exciting,” La Russa told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday.

After striking out seven in six shutout innings in an 8-0 win over the Dodgers Tuesday, Ray’s line in the box score wasn’t what impressed La Russa the most.

“If you just track his development you can see as he’s gone through the season where his pitches are more in the strike zone. He still gets too many balls fouled off but he’s still a baby. ”

The left-handed rookie is 5-12 with a 3.53 ERA on the season, with his two most recent wins coming in September against the Dodgers.. Ray has struck out 108 and walked 46 through 117.1 innings in 2015.

“What’s ahead for him is he’ll be great — and he’ll be great for the Arizona Diamondbacks,” La Russa said.

Ray is just one piece of the excitement La Russa has about the future of the Diamondbacks.

“It’s been such a year of making an impression throughout the baseball world and I think our fans have been getting it to, that there’s something special developing here.”

With a record of 73-78, the D-backs are no longer contenders for a postseason spot, but La Russa says that doesn’t make the remaining games are without meaning.

“What you control is keep playing hard and keep executing, but you want some results,” La Russa said. “The fact that the guys are not only continuing to play to the end, but getting some positive results, is very important.”


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Tony La Russa: Robbie Ray’s development is very exciting