Archie Bradley’s desire to pitch in the big leagues might turn him into a reliever permanently. It is early, but the right-hander has turned in two dynamite appearances.
After left-hander, Andrew Chafin allowed an unearned run, a hit and walked a batter to begin the Cleveland half of the seventh, Lovullo went to Bradley and ultimately pushed another right button.
Bradley ended up pitching two innings of scoreless relief, earned his first hold and kept his ERA at 0.00. Diamondbacks relievers have done a great job so far with inherited runners, something the pen struggled with mightily in 2016. Bradley inherited two runners, but neither scored.
Bradley threw 21 of his 32 ptiches for strikes. He used fastballs and kunckle curves, but with increased fastball velocity, that is all Bradley needs to get hitters out. He averaged 96.2 mph on his four-seamer and maxed out at 97.7 mph, according to Brooks Baseball data. Fernando Rodney recorded his second save despite another unearned run crossing the plate.
Corbin talked with MLB.com about what he has seen from Bradley.
"“The ball is coming out of his hand really firm. And his breaking ball has been pretty impressive. His fastball is flat out beating guys. They’re getting late swings on it. If he can locate that and make good pitches with his breaking ball, not many guys are going to hit him.”"
Bradley could transition back to starting, but if he continues to perform out of the pen in the late innings, he could become the next closer.