Right-hander Archie Bradley of the Arizona Diamondbacks was strong in his initial outing of the 2017 season.
Though it is not apparent, there’s a level of frustration which swept across the face of Archie Bradley of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bradley, who had a strong final seven weeks at the end of the 2016 and anticipated dropped back into the rotation, now finds himself on the outside looking inside.
After manager Torey Lovullo named lefty Patrick Corbin as part of the rotation at the end of spring training, the first thought was Bradley’s vulnerability. In competition for that final slot among starters, Bradley arrived in camp amid high expectation and an important reward.
His stature then came into question and position on the 25-man roster in jeopardy. Instead, Lovullo saw enough in the right-hander to put Bradley in the bullpen and a role, for now, as a long reliever.
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Clearly, Bradley is working toward settling back in the rotation but for now, his place remains in the bullpen. That was made clear after Bradley’s stellar relief outing in game two of the season.
After Corbin failed to touch the fifth inning and Randall Delgado imploded, Lovullo went with Bradley and the native of Muskogee, Okla. responded.
Answering the call with 3.1 innings, Bradley allowed no runs and struck out seven hitters. His fastball was constantly clocked in the mid to upper 90s and his control right around the plate. Afterward, Bradley told Venom Strikes he recognizes his current role.
"I want to go after and attack hitters. The strikeouts are good, but that’s not a flash in the pan. I know what it takes and to go as many innings as I can."
Bradley’s effort highlighted an otherwise dismal night in which errors and a high pitch count from Corbin prevented the Diamondbacks from truly competitive.
More importantly, Lovullo seems to go out of his way in praising Bradley and the task he embraces. For now, Bradley appears as the good soldier and says nothing to detract from his current appointment. As the Diamondbacks’ long reliever, Lovullo told Venom Strikes Bradley’s effort Tuesday and his presence in the bullpen is a tribute to his drive and determination.
"I want to acknowledge what (Bradley) did. What we saw was all the hard work put in behind the scene. He gave us a team moment."
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Though Bradley would like to be included in the rotation, there is a certain level of appreciation. That’s because Bradley is in the majors and not trying to get back there by pitching his way through the minor leagues. In the long term, Lovullo told Venom Strikes that Bradley is viewed as a starter, but for now “Bradley rose to the challenge.”