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Arizona Diamondbacks receive ‘very good news’ on top prospect Archie Bradley

PHOENIX — Pitcher. Elbow trouble.

They are words a team never wants to hear, yet the Diamondbacks have heard them plenty recently.

The club currently has four big league players on the disabled list following Tommy John surgery in Patrick Corbin, David Hernandez, Daniel Hudson and Matt Reynolds, so you can imagine the thoughts running through the organization when news surfaced that top prospect Archie Bradley complained about his right elbow after his most recent start on April 26.

“This particular time he just woke up and he was a little bit more sore than he had been over previous times so they wanted to make sure,” GM Kevin Towers said on Tuesday.

That meant an unscheduled trip to Phoenix and a visit with the team doctor, Dr. Michael Lee, for some tests.

“There’s a little bit of blood in there, just swelling,” said Towers, referring to the MRI results. “The UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) was intact. There was no fraying. It looked very, very strong. Dr. Lee said this is probably very, very minor.”

Bradley, 21, was placed on the Reno Aces’ 7-day disabled list with what is officially being called a mild flexor strain.

The plan, according to Towers, is to shut Bradley down for two weeks before resuming a throwing program with hope that he’ll be pitching in games within a month.

“The key thing is just structurally he’s fine,” Towers said. “This was very good news; a little worried when we heard he was coming in to be seen based on what we went through with David and Huddy and Reynolds and Corbin, the UCL club that we have in there.”

Bradley is 1-4 with a 5.18 ERA in five starts, allowing 26 hits and 12 walks in 24.1 innings of work, while striking out 23. He had not pitched past the fifth inning in any of his last three outings, giving up a total of 12 runs.

“His command was probably more walks than we’re used to; struggling a little bit with his curveball, not throwing his changeup enough,” Towers said. “As we all know that PCL is a tough league as it is, but April is specifically tough just because of how cold and dry it is there in Reno. I mean it’s not an easy place to pitch in April.”