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Archie Bradley should stay down for a bit

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Archie Bradley sits in the dugout during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, in Miami, Thursday, May 21, 2015. The Diamondbacks won 7-6, sweeping the series. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Archie Bradley has been sent down. Bradley was the April hope in 2015 when all of us knew the Arizona Diamondbacks were going to struggle to reach .500. Bradley took a line drive to the face and he hasn’t been the same since.

Bradley pitched 20 innings for the 2015 D-backs before a Carlos Gonzalez comeback liner struck the right side of his face. He left the game with a 1.80 ERA on the season and had only given up two extra-base hits, neither of which was a triple or home run. It was only four starts, but his 14 strikeouts were generating a local buzz.

After the injury, Bradley pitched another four outings before being removed from the rotation. Two innings = four earned runs; five innings = four earned runs; 3.2 innings and six earned runs. Bradley also gave up eight extra-base hits, three of which were homers. Before the April 20th Gonzalez at-bat, Archie never gave up more than four hits in an outing. He gave up at least five hits in every start the rest of the year with the D-backs.

Robbie Ray has won the fifth starter spot for Arizona and it’s well-deserved. Ray’s 1.86 spring ERA and 1.03 WHIP dominated Bradley. The story for the D-backs is how well Ray is pitching. The story for me is how the struggles have continued for Bradley.

Bradley’s spring ERA (9.00) and 2.00 WHIP are not even in the conversation with Ray. Bradley was not competing for his entire professional career, so don’t write him off. He was, however, competing to make his dream come true and he came nowhere close. Right now there’s no comparison between the Archie Bradley pre- and post-comebacker.

No one should bail on Bradley. Bradley has nothing to apologize for if he’s still scared on the mound. I’m praying for Bradley and not ridiculing him for missing his chance. Unfortunately, he hasn’t shown any signs he’s healed from April 20th. Bradley needs to stay down in the minors until he does more than show signs he’s ready. Until there’s domination of minor league hitters, Bradley should remain a minor league pitcher.

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