Yankees Could Look to Arizona in Search for Starting Pitching Help
While Ray’s ERA jumped up almost a run and a half from 2015 to 4.90, his solid peripherals indicate he was the victim of some bad luck along the way. He saw a huge jump in strikeouts from the previous year, from 8.4 to 11.3 K/9. He did see a slight corresponding increase in walks and homers.
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Ray’s name may sound familiar to Yankees fans because he was part of the Didi Gregorius–Shane Greene three-way swap with Detroit and Arizona. The 25-year-old lefty has five quality pitches. He mixes a mid-90’s four-seamer, a sinker, slider, change, and curve.
Control is definitely an issue for Ray, walking 9.2% of the batters he faced this year, however one plus is that he’s already shown he can succeed in one of the most homer-friendly parks in baseball. Yankee Stadium was the only stadium that rated more highly than Arizona’s Chase Field by ESPN’s 2016 MLB Park Factors.
Ray seems like one of the better fits for the Yankees of this group. He comes with four years of team control and isn’t even arbitration eligible until after next season. He doesn’t have the same ceiling as Greinke or Miller, but would slot in as a solid number three or four.