D-backs juggle rotation, name Zack Godley starter; Archie Bradley remains in bullpen
PHOENIX — Faced with a hole in the starting rotation due to the injury to Shelby Miller, the Arizona Diamondbacks have decided to dip into their minor league system. And it will be Triple-A right-hander Zack Godley earning a promotion, according to manager Torey Lovullo.
Godley will start on Wednesday, pushing Taijuan Walker back a day and moving Robbie Ray to Friday for the series opener against the Colorado Rockies. The D-backs optioned reliever Silvino Bracho to Triple-A Reno late Tuesday after the D-backs’ 9-3 victory over San Diego, presumably making space for Godley’s spot on the roster.
“We’ve juggled our rotation a little bit,” Lovullo said prior to Tuesday’s game against San Diego.
Godley, who will be making his 16th big-league start, recently was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week after throwing seven shutout innings with no walks and seven strikeouts at Albuquerque on April 19. He carried a no-hitter through six innings.
Overall in three games, including one start with Reno, Godley has a 2.55 ERA.
“Well, technically speaking only one start,” he said, “but the first game of the year that I pitched, I came in in the first inning with one out. The second start we had a snow-out, so I had to start that whole continuation over again with no outs with a runner on first and third. Essentially, I had three starts and I threw the ball pretty well. I’m just glad they’re giving me another opportunity.”
Godley, 27, last started in the majors last season, allowing nine runs on nine hits including three home runs in two innings against Cincinnati on Aug. 27. He then finished 2016 in the bullpen.
Over parts of two seasons totaling 36 games with the D-backs, Godley is 10-5 with a 5.34 ERA.
“He’s been throwing the ball very well,” Lovullo said. “I think that’s where the player development staff was given their strongest recommendation. There were some very good candidates that were throwing the ball in Reno, but we trust and believe in their eyes and that was their recommendation. And he threw the ball very well at the tale end of spring training and he left a very positive impression on myself and the rest of the staff.”
Among the other internal candidates the D-backs considered was Archie Bradley.
After competing for a starting spot in spring training, Bradley was placed in the bullpen, where he’s had great success so far. In 11.1 innings as a reliever, Bradley has a 0.79 ERA with a three-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Though the D-backs still see Bradley as a starter in the future, they prefer him in the bullpen in the immediate future.
“He’s done an exceptional job but I think he’s a valuable piece of this puzzle as we are keeping the big picture in mind,” Lovullo said. “He needs to be one of our starters. So for me, no, I think he’s still going to be a starting pitcher. When and how that happens, it won’t be entirely up to me, obviously, but it will be a collective decision. For right now, he’s going to stay in the bullpen.”
And how long Godley stays in the rotation is to be determined, according to Lovullo.
“We’re just trying to put the best five starting pitchers out there that we possible can,” he said. “For right now, there’s a little bit of instability. We have four quality starting pitchers and one that’s going to get an opportunity to show us what he can do, so beyond that I can’t really say what will happen.”
— No new news on Miller. He did see Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Dodgers’ team physician, on Tuesday and received a second opinion. The D-backs, however, remain tight-lipped on what may or may not be the next step for Miller.
“We’re still gathering information,” Lovullo said.
Miller is currently on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation.
— Despite a .548 batting average in his last seven games, right fielder David Peralta was not in the lineup against Padres left-handed starter Clayton Richard.
Lovullo played the numbers game, going with Chris Owings, who is 3-for-8 lifetime against Richard, in the outfield and Nick Ahmed at shortstop.
— Also not in the lineup was third baseman Jake Lamb. It was his turn to have a day off.
“It’s hard to sit a player like Jake and yesterday we did it with Goldy (Paul Goldschmidt), so I’ll have some criteria that I’ll follow with him like I did with Goldy yesterday. You might see him pop up in the game, but it’s a day to give him off just so he can cleanse his mind and refresh his body.”