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D-backs tab Ray for regular-season finale

Lefty could pitch out of 'pen in NL Wild Card Game, will be lined up for Game 1 of NLDS
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Robbie Ray will start the D-backs' final game of the regular season when Arizona faces the Royals in Kansas City on Sunday, manager Torey Lovullo said Wednesday. As a result, Lovullo and the D-backs will have some flexibility when planning their roster for the National League Wild Card Game on Oct. 4.

Ray, who started on Tuesday, will likely be on a limited pitch count with the hope that he will be available out of the bullpen or as an emergency starter for the Wild Card Game. If he is not used in the Wild Card Game, he will be on normal rest to start Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Oct. 6, should the D-backs advance that far.

Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- Robbie Ray will start the D-backs' final game of the regular season when Arizona faces the Royals in Kansas City on Sunday, manager Torey Lovullo said Wednesday. As a result, Lovullo and the D-backs will have some flexibility when planning their roster for the National League Wild Card Game on Oct. 4.

Ray, who started on Tuesday, will likely be on a limited pitch count with the hope that he will be available out of the bullpen or as an emergency starter for the Wild Card Game. If he is not used in the Wild Card Game, he will be on normal rest to start Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Oct. 6, should the D-backs advance that far.

Full Game Coverage

"It's a one-game gear-up on Wednesday where it's all hands on deck," Lovullo said. "We want to make sure everybody is sharp and available."

Arizona starters Patrick Corbin and Zack Godley will both get work out of the bullpen during the series in Kansas City to keep them fresh for a variety of possible postseason roles.

"Everything is wide open," Lovullo said. "We haven't finalized anything. It's just, we're running out of days with guys to be able to pitch. So it's our way of just making sure that everybody is staying sharp and staying strong with endurance durability. We're going to pile some guys into a couple of days, because there's only three games left."

Lovullo said that he thinks Corbin could make a relief appearance on Friday, while Godley could work out of the bullpen on Saturday. Taijuan Walker will make his final regular-season start on Saturday.

While Lovullo said the team won't officially confirm who its starter for the Wild Card Game is until Friday, he has made it apparent that Zack Greinke will get the nod for the D-backs.

The last time Ray threw out of the bullpen was in 2014, when he was pitching for the Tigers. If Greinke is ineffective early in the Wild Card Game, Ray could be called on in long relief.

"We've got to go about business as usual," Ray said. "At this point, I'm available whenever they need me. Whenever they call my name, I'll be ready."

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Robbie Ray