Diamondbacks’ left-hander Robbie Ray was removed from Friday’s game after getting struck in the head with a line drive. The incident occurred in the second inning, when Cardinals’ batter Luke Voit laced a 108.1 MPH comebacker up the middle and caught Ray on the back of the head.
Third baseman Daniel Descalso fielded the ball for the second out of the inning, while Ray immediately collapsed on the mound after the hit and was attended to by team personnel. He was able to sit up after being helped onto a cart and exited the field to a standing ovation. The team is expected to update his status after he undergoes a preliminary evaluation.
Following the delay, fellow southpaw T.J. McFarland took the ball for Arizona. He gave up a two-out single to Harrison Bader and induced an inning-ending groundout from opposing starter Michael Wacha. The Diamondbacks are currently tied 0-0 with the Cardinals in the top of the fifth inning.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.