Archie Bradley Finds Groove in Bullpen

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PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 22: Relief pitcher Archie Bradley #25 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the MLB game at Chase Field on May 22, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Archie Bradley‘s move to the bullpen was an unexpected one this season, but it is paying off for the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the first two months of the 2017 season down, the former first round pick has posted an ERA of 1.23. Last season as a starter, Bradley went 8-9 with 26 starts under his belt and had an ERA of 5.02.

Archie Bradley Finds Groove in Bullpen

April and May in the Books

Bradley has only appeared in 15 games this season but has recorded 28 strikeouts with five walks over 22 innings pitched. Over those 22 innings, he has only allowed 13 hits and three runs. He is tied for ninth place in the NL for the most strikeouts. Not to mention eight of Bradley’s last nine outings have been scoreless. Over those nine appearances, he has held a 1.17 ERA with a lone earned run in 7.2 innings pitched. For Arizona’s bullpen, Bradley ranks first in ERA and second in strikeouts with 28, one behind Arizona’s leader J.J. Hoover who has 29. Bradley also has the lowest WHIP among every pitcher in the Arizona’s bullpen. Additionally, opponents are 0-for-12 with RISP against Bradley.

Torey Lovullo Use’s Bradley Conservatively

To some fans, it is a surprise that Bradley has not seen as much playing time. His 15 appearances in 52 games have been disappointing. Many feel that Lovullo is not using him to the best of his ability. It is understandable because he is hitting 97 MPH consistently, which means Bradley needs time off to rest his arm. He has recorded the fastest pitch among the bullpen with a 98 MPH four-seam fastball. It is not an unusual sight because his  pitches have been up there in each outing. Every other pitcher in the bullpen has over 20 appearances, and they have not put up numbers anywhere close to Bradley’s.

Moving Forward

As the season continues, I would like to see Bradley with more playing time in close situations. It appears so far that Lovullo brings him in when the Diamondbacks have a large lead. Bradley will likely be pitching in the high 90’s as well, and that could really help the Diamondbacks moving forward. Hopefully he gets his spot back in the starting rotation if another pitcher is under performing; however, it does not seem like that is what Lovullo wants out of him during these times. If Bradley continues to strike batters out and keep a low ERA, he’ll be every batters worst nightmare.

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