Archie Bradley 2.0
Dave Stewart took over as general manager of the Diamondbacks in September of 2014, and changes were anticipated up and down the organization. For Bradley, however, merrily he rolled along, making the Opening Day roster and starting the season in the rotation.
In his first taste of the majors, Bradley struggled. He no longer appeared ticketed for acedom, not since getting his first taste of MLB camp before the 2014 season. At that point, his star began to fade ever so slightly. An injury slowed his development and it took probably until 2016 to get his curveball all that way back. Many anticipated Bradley to become a solid mid-rotation workhorse.
In eight starts in 2015, Bradley went 2-3 with a 5.80 ERA. For the first time his his professional career, he wasn’t missing many bats either. He struck out 5.8 batters per nine innings, while walking 5.55. A one-to-one ratio is not what you’re looking for there.
Of course, it was a difficult season for lots of reason, not the least of which because of this. Getting hit in the face with a line drive will sap the skip from anyone’s step, though Bradley seemed to recover better than most.
Dreams of acedom were quickly falling by the wayside as Bradley went 10-12 in 34 starts, 177 1/3 innings across 2015 and 2016. His 5.18 ERA belies some tough luck, as a 4.27 FIP speaks to a stronger performance.d
But without a functional third offering, Bradley labored to make a third pass through the order and rarely pitched deep into games. Which is likely what Mike Hazen and Torey Lovullo saw when they took over as general manager and field manager, respectively, because not long after their hiring, Bradley’s career took another turn.