Archie Bradley pitched exactly one inning in Cactus League play in 2013.
In an 8-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals last March, the highly-touted right-hander allowed one run on two hits while striking out two batters. He’d spend the rest of the year in the minor leagues.
Monday night, Bradley made his first-ever Cactus League start, and was very impressive in a 5-0 win over the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields. The 21-year-old pitched three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out six.
Bradley didn’t want to downplay his 2013 spring appearance, but knows Monday’s game was a lot more meaningful.
“Any time you get to throw in a big league game, you’re always making an impression, there are always eyes on you and you have something to prove,” Bradley told Burns and Gambo Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “But to get the start this game — a night game at Salt River — great crowd, great fans, just an experience.
“My first big league start, in a sense, even though it’s just Spring Training, I had a ton of emotions, a ton of adrenaline going and it was really, really fun.”
It wasn’t too much fun for a Rockies lineup that featured regulars Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, who have combined for seven All-Star Game appearances. That trio combined to go 0-for-4 with two strikeouts against Bradley, who admitted he had a little difficulty keeping his emotions in check.
“It was very hard. For me, I’m a big, emotional guy, I’m very excited and I’m proud to be doing what I’m doing,” Bradley said. “Any time I get a chance to put that jersey on and go pitch, I get very excited and my emotions start rolling.
“It was good for me to have to go through that and have to control my emotions and tone them down a little bit. I think I did a very good job with that.”
Bradley is very much in the mix to break camp with the big league club, but knows there is a possibility that he’ll start the year once again in the minor leagues.
“I’m not going to lie, I would be disappointed just because I want to be part of this team, I want to help this team win,” Bradley said. “When you look at this team, with the people in place, the management, the players, everything, I like the guys in the locker room. I like the guys that are playing for the Diamondbacks.
“I want to help this team win and get back on top, so I would be disappointed to some extent, but I understand this is a process.”