The Diamondbacks have added three-time World Series Champ and, yes, two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, Madison Bumgarner to their pitching staff. They also have some guys entering their second big league season that had impressive numbers on the mound. The Diamondbacks have multiple options in who can build their rotation. Here is a potential pitching rotation for the Diamondbacks to start 2020.
1.) Madison Bumgarner
Madison Bumgarner stayed in the National League West when he signed a five-year deal with the D-Backs. The southpaw spent his first 11 MLB seasons with the San Francisco Giants. His career ERA prior to the 2020 season is just 3.13, along with his 1.111 career WHIP. Including the Postseason, the 30-year-old has thrown 18 complete games, with nine of them being shutouts. Also, both times he’s pitched in a Wild Card game, it was a shutout. Should the D-Backs find themselves in the Wild Card game with Bumgarner available, they should like their chances.
Bumgarner is also in the National League, so he should get some at-bats this season. He has 105 career big-league hits with 19 of them being home runs.
2.) Robbie Ray
Another lefty on the roster is Robbie Ray. He has spent six seasons pitching for the Diamondbacks, with 2017 easily being his best season with the club. He made the All-Star game and finished seventh in the NL Cy Young vote. Ray averaged 12.1 SO/9 that season while posting a 2.89 ERA through 28 starts. He is currently 28-years-old, so he is young enough to put together a season similar to the one he had in 2017.
3.) Luke Weaver
After three seasons with the Cardinals, Luke Weaver pitched for the D-Backs in 2019. In a small sample of just 12 starts, he posted a 2.94 ERA with a 1.073 WHIP over 64 1/3 innings pitched. Continuing on those numbers for the 2020 season can be really helpful for Arizona.
Weaver has also made appearances out of the bullpen during his career. It is possible that that can happen this season, but he may also be a starter. Having options for where he can pitch may help the D-Backs form their rotation this season.
4.) Alex Young
Alex Young made his big league debut on June 27 of last season. He had an impressive first season in the MLB. Through 17 appearances that included 15 starts, he posted a 3.56 ERA. Over 83 1/3 innings pitched, Young had 71 strikeouts and 27 base on balls. Spring training can potentially give fans an idea of if he can continue to pitch well in what could be his first full big league season.
5.) Merrill Kelly
Merrill Kelly is, like Young, entering his second MLB season in 2020. In his rookie season, he got 32 starts on the mound. He had an ERA+ of 101 along with a 1.315 WHIP. These numbers are pretty average for a Major League Baseball pitcher, and Kelly was a rookie that season. Although he debuted later than a lot of players at 30-years-old, he should still be able to develop more at the big league level this season.
Feature Image Courtesy of SFGate.com