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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #157: Now we're Koch-ing

Games until the blessed end of the season: 6

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Koch
RHP, 1-1, 1.29
Max Scherzer
RHP, 18-7, 2.82
Jean Segura - 2B Trea Turner - CF
Jake Lamb - 3B Jayson Werth - LF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Stephen Drew - 2B
Welington Castillo - C Anthony Rendon - 3B
Brandon Drury - LF Ryan Zimmerman - 1B
Yasmany Tomas - RF Brian Goodwin - RF
Chris Owings - SS Danny Espinosa - SS
Mitch Haniger - CF Jose Lobaton - C
Matt Koch - RHP Max Scherzer - RHP

No pressure, Mr. Koch. You are simply making your first major-league start against a four-time All-Star who has merely finished in the top five for Cy Young voting, each of the past three seasons and is looking likely to do so again in 2016. But, hey - there is precedent. Anyone remember Archie Bradley's debut on April 11 last year, when he faced and beat Clayton Kershaw? That would be the level of surprise we're looking at tonight. Koch has been decent in his time with the D-backs, allowing one run over seven innings of work, but a BABIP of .105 strongly points toward that being over-achievement. He hasn't K'd enough people (K:BB of 4:3), which is why his FIP is all the way up at 5.57.

The number sin the minor leagues are a bit more impressive, mostly because his control has been better there. Across 21 starts for Mobile and Reno, covering a total of 121.1 innings, he had a K:BB ratio of 74:19. Still not a ton of strikeouts, but you can get away with that, if you're not walking very many people. Despite this being his first start, Koch is also relatively old - he turns 26 in November. For context, this makes him fifteen months older than Braden Shipley, and a full two years older than Archie Bradley. He's also older than Robbie Ray, and is barely a month younger than Shelby Miller, so he's almost the grand-daddy of our current rotation!

I'm not sure where he will fit into our depth chart for next year. The recent news about Rubby De La Rosa has me feeling doubtful as to whether he will be able to contribute meaningfully to the team next year, so getting to see what another arm can do, for a possible bit of depth is not a bad idea. My expectations are currently pretty muted, however; even in the best-case scenario, I don't see Koch developing much beyond the back of the rotation. But considering we got him and another prospect for Addison Reed, I can't really complain too much.