Ray was lights out through three innings and threw 24 of his 33 pitches for strikes, with his lone mistake coming on his final pitch of the afternoon, when Paulo Orlando connected on a solo home run. The outing represents a dramatic step forward for Ray after he failed to escape the first inning and was charged with five earned runs in his second start of the spring March 3 against the Dodgers. Per Craig Grialou of ArizonaSports.com, Ray credited his between-starts bullpen session for getting the timing of his pitches back on track Friday, and he's hopeful to carry that form into the regular season.
Ray's home park in Arizona will install a humidor for this season which could result in a significant drop in home runs, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
After much speculation, it was announced late Tuesday that the humidor will indeed come to Chase Field in 2018. As Piecoro notes, a ball stored in a humidor absorbs water, decreasing its "coefficient of restitution," or bounciness. Physics professor Alan Nathan suggested the humidor should result in 50-to-80 fewer homers hit at Chase Field each year, at the very least. This is welcome news for Ray, who has struggled with the long ball during his time with the Diamondbacks. Expect his price to tick up, but for good reason.
Ray broke out in his age-25 season, posting a 2.89 ERA and finishing fourth among qualified starters in strikeout percentage (32.8). He still walks too many batters and can be susceptible to the long ball, but even with those warts, Ray has a strong case as a fantasy SP1 heading into 2018.
Ray was the pitcher of record in the Diamondbacks' 8-5 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday in Game 2 of the series. He lasted 4.1 innings and was charged with four runs on four hits, four walks and three wild pitches while striking out six batters.
After tossing 2.1 innings in relief in the Diamondbacks' wild-card win over the Rockies on Oct. 4, Ray was called upon to start on three days' rest, and his fatigue showed. The four runs the lefty allowed were his second most in any of his last 10 appearances, with his inability to consistently throw strikes proving to be his downfall. With the Diamondbacks now in a 2-0 series hole, it's possible that Ray won't see the mound again in 2017 if the Dodgers are able to sweep Arizona in Game 4 on Tuesday.
Ray was charged with one run over 2.1 innings in relief Wednesday in the Diamondbacks' 11-8 win over the Rockies in the National League wild-card game. He gave up two hits and struck out three in the 34-pitch outing.
The Diamondbacks limited Ray to 1.2 innings in his final start of the regular season Sunday specifically so that he'd be available in relief for the wild-card contest, and manager Torey Lovullo ended up calling upon the lefty out of the bullpen in the top of the fifth after starter Zack Greinke struggled early on. While he wasn't able to keep the Rockies off the board, Ray probably performed well enough in relief for Lovullo to justify turning to him again in that capacity when necessary during the Diamondbacks' postseason run. It's expected that Ray's next playoff appearance will come in a starting role, however, perhaps in Game 3 or 4 of the Diamondbacks' divisional series with the Dodgers, which commences Friday.
|10/9/2017 vs Los Angeles|
|vs Los Angeles||31.2||3||0||2.27||0||12||53|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2010||ASX-Vermont Lake Monster||0||0||0.00||1||0||0||0||0||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|2014||AAA-Toledo Mud Hens||7||6||4.22||20||19||0||0||0||100.1||106||51||47||6||3||44||75|