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Archie Bradley continues to struggle, off to mediocre start with Triple-A Reno Aces

On Saturday, top Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley added another chapter to the story of his early-season struggles at Triple-A Reno, where he has accrued a 1-4 record and 5.18 earned run average in five starts thus far.

The right-hander gave up seven hits, four walks, and five earned runs to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees — a minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim — and lasted just 4.0 innings in the outing. Bradley, 21, hasn’t lasted more than 4.1 innings in any of his most recent three starts.

Just two weeks ago, Bradley’s agent, Jay Franklin, publicly called for the promotion of his client to the major leagues. The Broken Arrow, Okla. native has since gone 0-3 with an 8.76 ERA.

Diamondbacks starting pitchers, meanwhile, recently put together a strand of 18.2 consecutive scoreless innings and three straight quality starts. The spike in performance, of course, came as a flight from their prolonged early season struggles, which still have them mired down at the bottom of the majors in staff ERA (6.49) and home runs allowed (23).

Bradley, who is ranked Baseball America’s No. 9 overall prospect, failed to make the Diamondbacks’ Opening Day rotation out of spring training, pitching to a 4.32 ERA over 8.1 innings, which were spread out over three starts. Even despite his struggles at Triple-A Reno since camp broke, the Diamondbacks seemed unlikely to call him up before June 1 in order to avoid starting his service clock and expediting the date on which he would first be eligible for arbitration.

Bradley collectively went 14-5 with a 1.84 ERA in stints with Single-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile last season.