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Snake Bytes, 3/29: Ray of sunshine edition

Robbie Ray will be our #5 starter. In other news, the sun rose in the East this morning, and water continues to be wet.

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Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Team news

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks name Robbie Ray as No. 5 starter - "He ended the year with us so that give him a little bit of a leg up and he hasn’t let go of it," Hale said. "He’s pitched very well all spring." Ray threw well on Monday in a minor league game, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out 10 in 6 1/3 innings. When meeting with reporters earlier in the afternoon, prior to Hale’s announcement, Ray was asked what it would mean for him to make the rotation. "It would be exciting," Ray said. "It would be my first Opening Day roster if I made it and it would be an accomplishment for me. I would be very grateful."

[FOX Sports] Robbie Ray nails down 5th spot in Diamondbacks' rotation - In all likelihood, the team has four positions still in play for the 25-man opening day roster -- but that number could grow to five if center fielder A.J. Pollock opens the season on the disabled list. Assuming no trades are made before the opener, 11 pitchers and 10 positions players would seem to be locked in:

[Examiner] Diamondbacks reduce roster: important decisions coming later this week - "Right now, we can form two major league teams with the players we have here," said Peter O’Brien "We all pull for each other, we have a great bunch of guys here, and I can’t wait to get the ball park each day to join my teammates." Still to be resolved for Hale and other decision-makers is whether Jean Segura opens the season shortstop or second, will Nick Ahmed beat out Segura for the shortstop job, will Brandon Drury make the team and split time between second and third, and will Hale carry two or three catchers.

[] Shelby Miller important to D-backs success - "For me, he was a 25-year-old top-end-of-the-rotation starter that has been able to throw a lot of innings each year he's been in the big leagues," D-backs general manager Dave Stewart said. "At 25, he's got more to learn, a lot more to learn, which means that we could have him here for his best years. So I looked at it as he's going to learn, he's already good and he's going to get better."

[FOX Sports] Unorthodox closer Brad Ziegler just as effective for Diamondbacks - His steady mix of sinkers and changeups, with a few curveballs here and there, induces groundball after groundball. Even if a few get through the infield, it's tough to create a ninth-inning rally that way. "When they put a defense on the field like we have, my goal is to go out there and have an inning with 10 pitches or less," said Ziegler, who at 36 is the oldest player on team. "I can use those guys to my advantage and feel like I have to do everything by myself."

[ABC15 Arizona] 'Nobody wants to hear it': Diamondbacks on what it's like to be sent down to the minors - Hudson doesn't envy the task facing manager Chip Hale and the rest of the D-backs coaching staff. "It's tough. You never like to say goodbye to anybody, but it's the nature of the business," he said. "Everybody kind of knows it's coming, but it's still not easy. I can't imagine having to make a decision like this, especially how competitive our camp's been. Everybody's been playing very well and nobody's made it easy on them at all."

[] D-backs hoping that Jake Lamb can breakout - "We're counting on him," Stewart said. "We're hoping to have more impact from him this year to extend our lineup. If he swings the bat like he's capable it extends our lineup and makes us better." New plate mechanics, an improved mental approach and the experience of a full season in the big leagues could add up to a breakout year for Lamb. "It helps having seen pitchers and playing teams and learning how they approach you, that's all part of it," Lamb said. "It's just about controlling what I can control."

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks' GM, wife navigate unique situation - When Dave Stewart left his family-run agency business to become the general manager of the Diamondbacks in 2014, his wife, Lonnie Murray, had a decision to make. Should she continue to represent players in her husband’s absence, a decision that would invite drama, awkwardness and some unusual optics? Or should she put it aside and focus on being a mom and a wife, cutting ties not only with a business she helped run for more than a decade but also with clients she and her husband lovingly referred to as "our kids"?

[] Prospect Primer: Peter O'Brien blasts off - "I don't think there are many people in the game right now who have his raw power, so that certainly sets him apart from many other players in the system and in the Major Leagues for us," said Mike Bell, the D-backs' director of player development. "Power is hard to find, and we have it with Pete. We're fortunate to have him and his impact on a lineup, and he's swinging the bat really well right now."

And, elsewhere...

[NY Times] Intrigue Surrounds Absence of Mets’ Matt Harvey - Left in doubt was whether he would able to pitch on Sunday night, when the Mets open the regular season. General Manager Sandy Alderson and Manager Terry Collins declined to provide any details about Harvey’s problem, except to say what it was not. Alderson, at one point, described it as a "nonbaseball medical issue." Collins, as he was pressed by reporters about the matter, raised his voice as he said: "His arm is fine! His arm is fine! O.K.? His arm is fine." Collins later added, "It is mysterious, but I’m not at the liberty to discuss it right now."

[] The Revenant: How Jake Arrieta came back from the baseball dead - "Beast," says his wife, Brittany. "That’s our nickname for him. I would not like to face him if I were a baseball player. You don’t know what’s going through his mind. You can’t even get the guy to flinch. "Not everybody can pull off that beard. His back and chest and face are all hairy. We have a werewolf in the family. And it’s like his eyes are locked in on you."

[AP] Catchers still adjusting to baseball’s plate-blocking rule, now in its third year - Because they can’t block a runner’s path before getting the ball, catchers have to consciously worry about the right positioning while also catching the ball on the fly and making a tag. "With so much going on, you’re paying attention to a lot of things, variables — the runner, where guys are lining up with the cut-offs and if the outfielders are going to be able to make the throw on time," Jason Castro of the Houston Astros said. "Yet at the same time, you’re kind of trying to make sure you’re in the correct position to field the throw and still allow the runner the lane for him."

[San Jose Mercury News] Baseball or calculus? Advanced metrics changing way we absorb, interpret game - As a measure of how rapidly things are changing, Miller points to how quaint even "Moneyball" looks by comparison. Beane's most memorable coup in those days? He recognized the under-market value of on-base percentage. "What Billy Beane was doing was supposedly radical and revolutionary," Miller said. "And he had access to probably less data than you can pull up on your cellphone in the next 30 seconds."