2019 Stats: 1-0, 4.91 ERA, 11 G, 7.1 IP, 9 SO, 2.045 WHIP
2019 Salary: Minimum
2020 Status: Pre-Arbitration
The switch-hitting, left-handed pitching Robby Scott went undrafted in 2011 Scott. However, Scott caught on with the Yuma Scorpions and didn’t allow a run, while striking 19 batters, in 11 innings. That prompted the Boston Red Sox to sign him as a non-drafted free agent on August 9. He finished the year with a 0.75 ERA in 24 innings, striking out 35 batters in 24 frames. This was the first of many strong minor league performances. In 2012, with the GCL Red Sox, he had a 0.44 ERA in 20 1/3 innings, striking out 23 batters. With the Salem Red Sox in 2013, he was 4-4 with a 2.79 ERA in 31 games and in 2014, he was 8-2 with a 1.96 ERA in 35 games for the Portland Sea Dogs. He was an Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star that year. After the season, he was named an AFL Rising Star after posting a 1.38 mark in 10 appearances. He began 2015 with Portland and again was named to the Mid-Season All-Star squad. He earned a promotion to the Pawtucket Red Sox partway through the year, his first taste of Triple-A.
This sustained track record of minor league success earned Scott his first cup of coffee during roster expansions in 2016. He followed that audition up by joining the Red Sox as a bullpen lefty for the 2017 season pitching as a lefty specialist in 57 games that season. In 2018, Scott once again was in the minors. Despite another strong minor league season, he only made a few appearances in the middle of the season, before again waiting for the September roster expansion to rejoin the big league club. Scott’s big issue being his lack of control. He only made a handful of appearances in September before being exposed to waivers for the Red Sox to create room on their 40-man roster. The Cincinnati Reds picked him up off of waivers and then, less than three weeks later, Mike Hazen purchased him from the Reds, bringing yet another former Red Sox player from his time in Boston to the desert.
Robby Scott’s arrival in Arizona was mostly overlooked. After all, the team was busy trading Paul Goldschmidt. The team also signed a pitcher out of the KBO and made some waves by signing Greg Holland as a potential bounce-back candidate to be their closer. Throwing from the left side, Scott entered spring training with a non-zero chance of making the 25-man roster. Still, Scott is more of a lefty specialist than a multi-batter pitcher. Furthermore, Andrew Chafin and T.J. McFarland were already on the roster, making it difficult for Scott to make a case for joining the 25-man roster. Scott opened the season in AAA-Reno. He continued to strike out batters at an increased rate, but he also continued to have issues with his control. For reasons unknown, but likely pertaining to roster construction, Scott was demoted to AA-Jackson for two games in May before promptly returning to the Aces.
Ray’s AAA-Reno stat line was unspectacular but not disastrous.
3-0, 6.94 ERA (6.38 xFIP), 41 G, 48 IP, 1.604 WHIP, 6.6 BB9, 11.4 SO9
His gaudy ERA is difficult to judge given the scoring environment of the PCL South. However, it is Scott’s lack of control that continued to stand out. Despite the struggles of McFarland throughout the 2019 season, those control issues worked to prevent Scott from forcing his way onto the 25-man roster. Scott made three appearances in August before heading back to Reno to wait for another September call-up. He did indeed get that September call, appearing in eight games for the Diamondbacks in the final month of the season.
With his continued control problems and a lack of minor league options, it is unlikely Robby Scott figures into the Diamondbacks’ 2020 plans and is cut loose. It is always possible that he could sign a minor league contract afterward and head back to Reno for 2020, but even that seems a bit unlikely.