Jay Franklin ruffled some feathers late Monday.
That is when a report came out that had him, as Archie Bradley’s agent, calling out the Arizona Diamondbacks for not calling up the young right-hander.
“I think it’s very apparent what is going on in Arizona,” he told Fox Sports on Monday. “Every ballplayer that is playing minor league baseball works his tail off to get an opportunity to play in the big leagues.
“Archie Bradley has proven to the Diamondbacks organization that he has deserved that opportunity by keeping his mouth shut and letting his numbers speak for his chance to pitch in the major leagues.”
Franklin’s comments stem from the fact that Bradley does not seem to be any closer to being promoted to the big leagues even though he’s pitched well for Triple-A Reno.
A guest of Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday, Franklin expanded on his thoughts.
“I respect Kevin Towers for the job they do over there and Kirk Gibson and the whole staff, they’re good people and they are baseball guys, which I respect a lot,” Franklin said. “But at the same time, I think a guy like Archie Bradley warrants that opportunity.”
But that opportunity has yet to come for the team’s top prospect. The Diamondbacks say they do not want to rush the pitcher to the big leagues and want to make sure that once he is called up, it’s for good.
“When a player asks you, from my perspective, ‘What do I have to do,’ well, at some point you have to go out and say ‘I’m not sure,'” he said.
That leaves Franklin to speculate as to why Bradley is still in the minor leagues, and the way the agent sees it, the only reason to keep Bradley in Reno is to delay him reaching free agency.
“Nothing against Kevin Towers and nothing against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but I feel that Archie Bradley being 21 years old, if he’s in the big leagues right now, obviously he could be arbitration eligible at the age of 24,” he said. “He could very well be a Super 2 at this point, but if they wait later on in the season then Archie has to fulfill three more years of service time before he’s arbitration eligible.
“People who know me would tell you I’m pretty brutally honest, and if I thought otherwise I would say so. But Archie deserves that opportunity as well as anybody should at that point. If he’s produced when given an opportunity and produced numbers-wise, put him up there. If he gets his butt handed to him he’d be the first one to tell you, ‘Send me back down, I’ve got work to do.'”
Franklin understands why a team would want to do business that way but his responsibility is to his client, who he wants to see get every opportunity he’s deserving of.
Bradley posted a 14-5 record along with a 1.84 ERA with Single-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile last season, and is currently 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts with the Aces this season. In 12 innings thus far, he has allowed seven hits and four walks while striking out eight.
Franklin made sure to point out that his words come from his own frustration and not from Bradley himself, saying the pitcher is not the type of person who would stir up problems.
And, he added, he’s not trying to disrespect the Diamondbacks, either.
“It’s just merely me being a former player and representing players nowadays and looking at these guys and going, ‘What warrants the opportunity to be promoted,'” he said. “Is Archie Bradley deserving of the opportunity to be promoted? I certainly think he does.
“I think you could ask anyone in baseball, and I’d tend to say the majority would say yes.”