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Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks' Archie Bradley to pitch in Australia, ‘still in the mix' to pitch in big leagues

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley runs drills during the teams first baseball spring training workout, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Here's hoping Archie Bradley's passport is up-to-date. He's going to need one next week.

Manager Kirk Gibson announced Sunday the Diamondbacks' top pitching prospect will accompany the team to Australia. While he won't pitch in either of the two regular season games against the Dodgers, Bradley will start the exhibition game against the Australian National Team at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground on March 21.

"Just get him the experience," Gibson said.

Bradley, in his second Cactus League start, pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings with two hits, two walks and three strikeouts against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.

"He threw the ball good yesterday," Gibson said. "We had a conversation about where he thinks he's at and the things that he is working on. He's pretty advanced for a kid his age."

Bradley, 21, is in his first big league camp after going a combined 14-5 with a 1.84 ERA in 26 starts between Visalia (A) and Mobile (AA) last season. He was the No. 7 overall pick of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

"One of things he told us is he knows that he's got to become better at keeping the game slowed down," Gibson said, which is part of the reason for having Bradley pitch in Australia, to give him some added exposure. "It's important for him to get that. It helps him get into more situations, more elevated, high-leverage situations that he's got to deal with things and keep control over."

Bradley is certainly deserving of a seat on the team's charter flight to Sydney.

He's 2-0 with zero runs allowed and nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 total innings this spring; and according to Gibson, remains "in the mix" to land one of the five spots in the starting rotation.

Might Gibson consider a six-man rotation?

"Haven't talked about it yet," he said.

Gibson though did rule out Bradley perhaps earning his way on to the 25-man roster via the bullpen.

"This next week will just kind of tell us a lot; see how everything pans out, how it works out, how guys are throwing the ball, health wise, etc. A lot can happen," Gibson said.

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