Before beginning regular season play with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Arizona Diamondbacks will play an exhibition game vs. Team Australia on March 21st. The pitcher that will be starting that game for the D’backs is none other than Archie Bradley, lending credence to the idea that the rookie will open the season in the starting rotation. Further bolstering his case is that Bronson Arroyo is not scheduled to throw in a game until March 14th, thanks to a bulging disc in his back. One could imagine that a 21-year old like Bradley is excited to be making an overseas trip like this. Manager Kirk Gibson thinks it will be beneficial for the youngster explaining it this way to Steve Gilbert at mlb.com:
“I think it’s a great experience for him,” Gibson said of Bradley getting the exhibition start. “Kind of give him the exposure. It’s important for him to get that, to get into more elevated, high-leverage situations that he’s got to deal with things and keep control over.”
This rules out Bradley pitching in either of the games that will take place in Sydney. When the Snakes open Regular Season Part 2 on March 31st, my prediction is that Arroyo will be on the disabled list and Bradley pitches one of the first three games against the San Francisco Giants. This wasn’t the scenario the organization had in mind, particularly the DL portion of it, but fans will be pumped to see their top prospect throwing bullets to the rival Giants.