D-backs to call up Ray to start in Bradley's place
LOS ANGELES -- Robbie Ray is tied for second in the minor leagues in strikeouts and his power arm is the main reason the Diamondbacks will slot him into Archie Bradley's spot in the rotation for the next two turns.
Ray has 35 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings at Triple-A Reno, where he was 1-3 with a 4.01 ERA in five appearances. He made his last start for Reno on regular rest Thursday, jumping over Vidal Nuno with the Aces to position himself for a start against the Rockies in Colorado on Tuesday.
"He has the pitches to strike guys out," Hale said. "We're at elevation (in Denver) and he's played at elevation wherever he's pitched this year, so that's not going to be a problem. We just want to see what he's got, give him shot."
Ray averaged 12.8 strikeouts in five starts for Reno, four on the road. He gave up 25 hits and walked 16, a 1.66 WHIP. Ray struck out 10, eight and eight in his three most recent starts, covering 16 innings.
"We're playing a team in the Rockies who can really hit," Hale said. "We've seen that. We saw that at our place. But they also do swing at a lot of pitches, so his power stuff, we think, matches up good with them."
Josh Collmenter, who beat the Rockies on five hits on Wednesday, will start the first game of the Colorado series on regular rest Monday, before Ray makes his D-backs' debut. The D-backs are not expected to add him to the roster until they get to Colorado so as not to overtax the bullpen.
Bradley was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with sinus fractures and cannot return until May 14, a D-backs off day. The plan is for Ray to start next Tuesday and May 10.
Ray, 23, was 1-4 with an 8.16 ERA in his first nine career appearances, six starts, with Detroit last year while filling in for Anibal Sanchez, and the D-backs made his type -- young, hard-throwing, controllable -- an offseason priority. He was acquired with 19-year old Domingo Leyba from the Tigers in the three-team deal that sent Didi Gregorius to the Yankees.
Ray showed a fastball that topped out in the 96-97 mph range this spring, when he was in the mix for a spot in the starting rotation. He was 1-3 with a 6.95 ERA in six spring appearances, three starts, giving up 19 hits and nine walks in 17 innings while striking out 16.
Nuno, the other apparent candidate for Bradley's spot, is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA at Reno entering a Friday start. A finesse pitcher, he had 26 strikeouts and three walks in 25 innings.