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Preview, #106: 7/28 @ Marlins

Welcome to Robbie Ray Appreciation Day in Miami

Baltimore Orioles v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Jarrod Dyson - CF Miguel Rojas - SS
Ketel Marte - 2B Harold Ramirez - LF
Eduardo Escobar - 3B Garrett Cooper - 1B
David Peralta - LF Starlin Castro - 2B
Adam Jones - RF Brian Anderson - RF
Jake Lamb - 1B Martin Prado - 3B
Nick Ahmed - SS Bryan Holaday - C
Alex Avila - C Yadiel Rivera - CF
Robbie Ray - LHP E. Hernandez - RHP

There have been few, if any, names mentioned more often than Robbie Ray in trade discussion as we approach the deadline on Wednesday. As a starting pitcher with more than just a couple of months’ control, and stellar strikeout number, it’s not surprising that he’s on the shopping list for a number of teams. We discussed this in a bit more detail yesterday, with everyone from the Yankees to the Twins apparently interested. If he is dealt, then this will be his final start in a Diamondbacks’ uniform, due to the July 31st cut-off date now being a “hard” deadline.

You have to think back quite some time to reach the point before Ray was a DIamondback. He came to Arizona in December 2014, being part of a three-way trade with the Yankees and the Tigers. We sent Didi Gregorius to New York, while getting Ray, and incidentally, also Domingo Leyba. I imagine both us and the Yankees would feel quite happy with the deal in retrospect. The Tigers, who got Shane Greene in exchange for Ray and Leyba, probably not so much. Since then, Ray has started 129 times for the D-backs giving us an ERA+ of 114, and going 43-40. He has intermittently been brilliant, occasionally for months, though his lack of consistency has occasionally been frustrating.

But there’s no denying he has been worth it. He has earned less than $10 million in his time with Arizona to date, and put up exactly 10 bWAR, which is excellent value by any standards. He had had twenty double-digit strikeout games, a number surpassed in franchise history only by Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson (the latter has 106. Safe to say that record is likely untouchable). That included his game in Sep 2017 against LA where he fanned 14 in 7.2 shutout innings. I’d say it was a toss-up between that and his shutout in May the same year against the Pirates, for his best start ever. But we can pick over his history if appropriate. For today, let’s just appreciate Robbie Ray.