Is It Time To Stop Expecting 2017 Robbie Ray?
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Is It Time To Stop Expecting 2017 Robbie Ray?

With the D'backs offense sputtering, the starting pitching needs to step up. Something we've expected Robbie Ray to do for 3 years now.

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Is It Time To Stop Expecting 2017 Robbie Ray?

The 2020 season hasn't been kind to Robbie Ray to start things off. Ray was looking dominant in the warm-up games leading to the opener. He had a fresh new haircut and new delivery which seemed to elevate his confidence. With his staggering number of K's in the exhibition games, Diamondbacks fans and media were also confident that 2017 Robbie ray was back.

Fast forward to his first two starts, Ray has continued to be a strikeout maestro. His 11.9 K/9 is still right in line with what he has done since 2017. Ray's 11 strikeouts on the season in only 8.1 innings pitched, shows he can still make people miss with the best of them. The problem is Ray has only pitched 8.1 innings TOTAL on the season.

Ray has yet to make it through 5 innings of either start this season. His biggest weakness has been the inability to command the strike zone and locate consistently. As good as Ray is at striking out batters, he is equally as talented in walking them as well.

Against the L.A. Dodgers, Ray was only able to manage 4.2 innings of work. He walked 6 batters, while also giving up 5 earned runs (2 HR.)

Ray has talked about his timing being off after feeling so dominant in the Summer warm-up games. If the D'backs want to have real shot at climbing back into the playoff race, Ray is going to be a huge X-factor in making it happen.

Madison Bumgarner and Zac Gallen both improved in limiting the amount of walks and runs allowed in their second start. Merrill Kelly looks like a potential breakout pitcher at age 31. Robbie Ray can be the missing piece to a potential championship rotation, but only if he rediscovers that 2017 form.

Through two starts, Ray has only thrown 53% of his pitches for strikes. That just won't work in today's league where players are better than ever at capitalizing on pitchers mistakes.

If Ray continues to falter over his next couple of starts, then Torey Lovullo and Mike Hazen are going to have to look into the mirror and make some tough decisions. Whether that is moving Ray to the bullpen and giving Alex Young or Taylor Clarke a start, or trading him to a team in need of starting pitching.

Game 60 will be on our heels before we know it, and the D'backs don't have time to keep waiting around, hoping 2017 Robbie Ray returns to form.

It might be time to acknowledge, this is who Robbie Ray is and 2017 was an outlier.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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