Highest Leverage PA: 1.8, PA#46, Carter reach on e4 vs Ray, Astros' 6th. Highest LI Win Value: .117, PA#52, Dominguez GDP vs Reed, Astros' 7th. QMAX rating: (3,3) for Ray (Success Square). Bullpen Award: None.Batters' Aggregate LI Win Values:
Worth 0.060 Kinsler 0.049 Cabrera 0.047 V Martinez 0.041 Castellanos 0.018 Avila 0.011 Jackson 0.001 Hunter -0.002 JD Martinez -0.060There was a higher-leveraged event than PA#46, which was when Jason Castro was put out at 2B following Ian Kinsler's drop of Chris Carter's pop-up in the sixth.
The question that arises for Nationals' fans is whether the Nationals will miss Robbie Ray in the long run. Was the trade for Doug Fister really worth it? We are in no position to give any kind of definitive answer after one big-league start. All we can do is assess the effect the trade had on the Nationals' farm system. Without doubt losing Ray weakened the Nationals' farm system. One notes the next two left-handers on the Baseball America prospect list have the following written about them in the Prospect Handbook:
Solis: "Staying healthy has been an issue for Solis since college days...[he] has a chance to be a No 4 starter in the majors."
Purke: Purke has lost prospect lustre...he still has a chance to become a back-end starter if he can harness his command."
Sammy Solis is showing on MiLB.com as on the disabled list still, having suffered a back injury. The most recent report on his health I can find is an early April Baseball America report. Matt Purke's ERA in AA currently stands at 7.18. QMAXing his AA starts this season produces 3 Uncategorised, 2 Hit Hard and 1 Success Square outing. The Success Square credit was earned in his last start, on 7 May, so perhaps we can take some heart from that.
If you haven't already seen it, there is a good article about Ray's outing on Fangraphs. What's really interesting is that author Jeff Sullivan notes that Ray has scrapped plans for a slider and is working on a curve ball. The Tigers under Dave Dombrowski have put a lot of emphasis on power fastball-slider pitching. Ray currently represents a departure from that. Also, if you missed the Tigers' radio broadcast of the game, we learned that Ray popped up on the Tigers' radar after an outing against their AA farm club at Erie last season. The Ray trade looks like one that was planned for a long time which, given the Dombrowski's track record, is not necessarily bad news for the Nationals.