The Arizona Diamondbacks went into spring training with enough depth to where they could, in theory, leave top prospect Archie Bradley in the minor leagues for a little while longer.
That depth is now being tested.
Bronson Arroyo is out with a back issue and may not be ready to start the regular season, and Trevor Cahill, who was penciled in as one of the starting pitchers against the Dodgers in Australia, injured his knee attempting to cover first base in a game Tuesday afternoon.
That’s two of the team’s five projected starters currently battling injuries, and while the severity of the issues and the length of time they may be out is unknown, the D-backs have to prepare for all possibilities.
“With Cahill we’ll probably know a little more today,” D-backs GM Kevin Towers told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday morning. “It looked a lot more serious, I think, when he did it, but he walked off the field OK and the trainers said they’re going to reevaluate it today.”
Towers said it appears to be more of a jammed knee than anything else, adding he hopes Cahill will be able to make his next spring start which is scheduled for Sunday.
“And then Bronson, he had a little bit of a setback with his back, but history proves this guy very rarely ever misses a start,” he said. “If he’s not, we’ve got Archie Bradley that’s throwing the ball very, very well right now.”
Bradley has appeared in two spring games for the D-backs, throwing 6.1 winnings of shutout baseball. He’s allowed three hits and walked four while striking out nine.
The 21-year-old is the team’s top prospect and one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, and it appears he may be ready to pitch in the big leagues. And from the sound of it, injuries may open the door.
“I don’t want to make that decision right yet,” Towers said when asked if Bradley would take Arroyo’s spot in the rotation if the veteran is unable to go. “All I know is he hasn’t done anything to hurt his chances to be on this club.
“We’ll just have to monitor the health of everybody else. He’s been built up pretty good right now.”
Towers added that the team could also turn to Randall Delgado or even Josh Collmenter, as each has proven they can start at the Major League level.
“We’re just going to take it day-by-day, I hate to look too far into the future to say what we’re going to do,” he said. “There’s still three or four games left here, and then Australia, and then a few more games before we open the season vs. San Francisco.”