Arizona Diamondbacks Editorial: Archie Bradley Shouldn’t Pitch in the Bullpen


With less than a week to go till opening night at Chase Field, the Arizona Diamondbacks 25 man roster is becoming more clear.

Recent roster moves that included setting their starting rotation, shifting right-hander Daniel Hudson to the bullpen to pitch most likely as a long man, and sending five pitchers to minor league camp on Monday, only one bullpen spot is left to be decided.

We already know that the bullpen will include Addison Reed, Oliver Perez, Evan Marshall, Brad Ziegler, Hudson, and Randall Delgado.

Manager Chip Hale also announced on Monday that Archie Bradley, Robbie Ray, Andrew Chafin, Vidal Nuno, and Enrique Burgos are options for the final spot in the pen.

“Everybody that is left we’re thinking of in that spot,” Hale said. “We’d like a guy who can throw multiple innings in that spot and they’re both capable of doing that.”

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My Thoughts:

This is probably one of the most interesting battles of camp, just because of where each of the pitchers listed above are at in their development, and what role the team thinks they eventually will be in.

The one guy that I want to focus on for this article is Archie Bradley. Bradley should not pitch in the bullpen, and there are many reasons for that. First of all, Bradley is considered the top pitching prospect in the system, and he is projected at some point to be a top of the rotation starter at the big league level. Bradley also sees himself in that role very soon.

Even though he struggled with injuries, and issues with his command and control during the 2014 minor-league season, he rediscovered his old form during the Arizona Fall League, and he has carried that over to this spring posting great numbers in the Cactus League.

So far in three starts he is 2-2 with a 2.50 era in 16.1 innings pitched. The most important number is his 12/3 K/BB  ratio which suggests he is improving his command and control of his pitches. If he can develop a plus slider, that would give him yet another weapon in his arsenal.

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If Bradley and the team believes that he is a top of the rotation starter, he shouldn’t be pitching in the bullpen. He should go down to the minor leagues for a little bit and continue to work on his command and control.

I don’t think its a good idea for him to switch roles. He is a power pitcher that needs starters innings to continue his development, and he wont get that in the bullpen. Using the bullpen as a way to break in top pitching prospects is not a good idea.

Bradley is going to up in the big leagues by the middle of this season if he continues to pitch like he has this spring, and I wont be surprised if he is in the rotation by the start of next season.

It was hard enough for Josh Collmenter to transition back into the rotation after a couple of years in the bullpen. With that in mind, he needs to stay on the starters track.

Next: Arizona Diamondbacks Fill Out Rotation