The Diamondbacks addressed their biggest need this offseason with the additions of Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller to help bolster their starting rotation. They also have Patrick Corbin and Rubby De La Rosa, who will be the number three and four starters respectively. But it is not known who will be the number five starter, which is where our first battle will be focused. There are a few guys who will be vying for that spot in the rotation.
Bradley was in this exact same situation in last year’s Spring Training and he was the one who earned the number five spot in the rotation. Bradley pitched very well in his first few starts last year, even outdueling Clayton Kershaw in his major league debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Unfortunately, it all came to a stop when Bradley was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez on April 28 and was never able to regain his form. Bradley was shut down for the season after his start on June 1.
When looking at Bradley’s numbers from last season, you have to remember that it was in a small sample size and that he didn’t seem to be right after being hit in the face. But, Bradley has looked solid so far in camp and has a great deal of confidence.
Ray came up to the majors in early May and proved that he can be a solid starting pitcher. He’s a lefthander with good velocity on his fastball, which is a luxury. Overall, Ray had a record of 5-12, which does not look very good to the naked eye. But Ray only had an ERA of 3.52, which is good. Ray received very little run support last season, so while he pitched well in most of his starts, he still had a bad record. In all 12 of Ray’s losses, he received three or less runs of support.
Ray has great potential as a starting pitcher. He is a hard-throwing lefty with good secondary pitches. He is also good at keeping the ball in the yard, as he only gave up nine home runs in his 23 starts last year.
Godley was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in the Miguel Montero trade and made his first start on July 23. Godley pitched very well last season and even started out 4-0 in his first five starts. Godley finished the year with a 5-1 record and a 3.19 ERA in nine games pitched, six of them starts. Godley has proven he has above average stuff, finishing with 34 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings pitched.
My projected winner for this battle is Robbie Ray. Ray will give Arizona another left-handed starter in the rotation and one who can rack up a bunch of strikeouts.
Next: Final Infield Spots and Utility Slots