MONDAY: Vincent Velasquez (5-2, 3.65 ERA) vs Robbie Ray (4-6, 4.59 ERA): Ray is a 24-year old southpaw who was the Washington Nationals 12th round choice in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft out of a Tennessee high school. He was dealt by the Nats in December 2013 to the Detroit Tigers in a 3-player deal for pitcher Doug Fister, then swapped by the Tigers to the Dbacks the following December as part of a 3-team trade involving the Yankees. He has now made 44 starts over parts of three big league seasons. This year had been up and down for Ray, who has allowed 89 hits over 80.1 innings with a 93/35 K:BB ratio. He beat the Phils just 10 days ago, striking out seven over six innings in a 10-2 Dbacks blowout. Velasquez is making his first start coming off the disabled list, and showing that he is healthy is half the battle. The other half, assuming health is fine, will be showing increased command and self-control on the mound.
TUESDAY: Jerad Eickhoff (3-9, 3.36 ERA) vs Zack Greinke (10-3, 3.61 ERA): Greinke was the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner while with the Kansas City Royals. He signed this past off-season as a big-ticket free agent with Arizona, the 3x All-Star and 2x Gold Glover receiving a six-year deal just short of $180 million. Ten days prior to this start, Greinke shut down the Phillies on three hits over eight innings for his 10th win of the season. He hasn’t quite lived up to his contract here in its first season, but was on a major roll before hitting a bump in Colorado last week. Of course, Coors Field can be rough on any pitcher, so that can be taken with a grain of salt. Eickhoff has been the Phillies best starting pitcher over the last couple of weeks, and looks to deliver his 11th Quality Start of the season in this, his 16th outing.
WEDNESDAY: Zach Eflin (0-2, 6.28 ERA) vs Archie Bradley (3-3, 4.50 ERA): Bradley is a 23-year old rookie right-hander who was Arizona’s 1st round pick at 7th overall back in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft out of a Oklahoma high school. Over 16 big league starts dating back to his 2015 debut, Bradley has allowed just 75 hits over 81.2 innings with a 72/46 K:BB ratio. Free passes have been a particular concern as he has issued at least three walks in six of his eight starts this season. Eflin will be making his fourth career start since his recent call-up. The 22-year old has gotten better in each outing, and continues his quest to demonstrate that he deserves to be considered a piece for the Phillies rebuilding longterm rotation.
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