In late March, the Diamondbacks named Robbie Ray their fifth starter. As is the case with most fifth starters, Ray’s outlook was uncertain. He might scuffle along close to the line known Andy Lee Authentic Jersey by statheads as “replacement level,” eating innings but allowing roughly as many runs as a scrubby Triple-A understudy would. He might carry forward the gains he made in 2015 and measure out as an average or better major league starter. Or he might continue adding velocity and tweaking his repertoire and turn into something close to an ace. With baseball, who can say until it has happened?
With Ray, though, it’s hard to say even after it happened. By wins above replacement, he was worth a pitiful 0.7 wins last year, worse than Archie Bradley (the pitcher Ray beat out for the fifth starter’s job) and Chase Anderson (the pitcher Arizona traded the previous winter to help make room for Ray). On the other hand, by wins above replacement, he was worth a robust 3.0 wins last year, tied with Cole Hamels and Marco Estrada.
It puts heavy emphasis on those things a pitcher controls, then attempts to determine the pitcher’s share of responsibility for everything else. According to tests run by its creator, Jonathan Judge, it’s the most predictive pitcher-evaluation model. It’s also beyond the average fan’s ability to dive into. Why does WARP like Robbie Ray? For most of us, the answer stalls at “because WARP likes Robbie Ray.”
Who is Robbie Ray, really? In 2010, he was drafted in the 12th round by the Washington Nationals. That doesn’t do justice to his talent at the time: He signed for nearly $800,000, about what a low first-round pick might have expected.
Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt’s OPS dropped by more than 100 points in 2016, but it was still a healthy .900.
Curtis: He adds lefty bullpen depth, but is not overpowering. He had 52 K’s in Brenton Bersin Authentic Jersey 30.1 innings in the minors, but skipped Triple-A in going to the majors. He’s likely ticketed for Triple-A.