The Arizona Diamondbacks are having some spirited competition to fill the five spots for their starting rotation. Last night we saw the debut of Archie Bradley, the organization’s #1 pitching prospect. So far, one guy has had the opportunity to make two starts and has made the most of it. Brandon McCarthy, who some may see as vulnerable with Bradley’s ascension, has been throwing like a man on a mission. He pitched earlier in the day and at age 30 is trying to put together one big, injury-free season.
So far, the results have been outstanding. McCarthy started the D’backs first game of the Spring by tossing four innings of one run ball. He followed it up yesterday with an even better performance. The tall right-hander threw five shutout innings and allowed only three hits and a walk while striking out two. The old saying goes that the pitchers are ahead of the hitters at this time of year. Perhaps most telling of this statement is that in nine innings, McCarthy has thrown a grand total of 48 pitches. In scanning the lineups for the Dodgers and Angels, the two teams he has faced, a number of regulars were absent, mostly from the Halos. Still, it has to be a tremendous feeling for both the pitcher and the manager to see him work so efficiently.
Working in the second and final year of his contract, Brandon McCarthy is looking to secure a future for himself in Arizona or somewhere else. Is this the year he can put together his first double digit win, 200 inning season? If he does, it would go a long way in positioning the D’backs for a playoff berth.