Archie Bradley says Madison Bumgarner will set tone for D-backs
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — From the first pitch he threw, Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley has gotten serious first-hand looks at some of the best pitchers the NL West has had to offer over the last decade.
Bradley squared off opposite Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, the 2014 NL Cy Young Award winner, for his 2015 MLB debut. Five days later that April, he faced Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, who was fresh off a 2014 World Series MVP.
Bradley, then a starter, beat both of them. And so he can appreciate each of those players’ longevity.
Now Bradley can appreciate that he’ll get to watch Bumgarner work on a daily basis after the former San Francisco Giant joined Arizona in free agency this December.
“A winner. That’s the biggest thing it brings,” Bradley said Wednesday as he warmed up for the Waste Management Phoenix Open Pro-Am. “He’s a winner, he wants to win. He wanted to be a Diamondback and to me, that’s an exciting thing, when a player wants to sign and be with your team. He’s been nothing but communicative, and he’s ready to get to work.”
By the time Bradley started his second MLB game that April of 2015, Bumgarner had already piled up accolades: two All-Star bids, three World Series titles and one championship MVP. Bumgarner pitched 52 2/3 innings that 2014 postseason, setting an MLB postseason record.
He’s since added two more All-Star appearances.
All of that carries weight in a new clubhouse.
Last season, Bumgarner went 9-9 for the 77-85 Giants. He tied a career-high with 34 starts and posted a career-worst 3.90 ERA to go with a 1.13 WHIP.
But Bradley, one of the D-backs’ vocal leaders, makes sure to point out the reason Arizona GM Mike Hazen gave Bumgarner a reported five-year, $85 million deal in December: They believe the 30-year-old still has ace-caliber stuff in the tank.
“That’s a big name. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time,” Bradley said. “I love competing against him. When you bring a guy like that in your clubhouse, it kind of sets a tone for you.
“What he did so young in his career for SanFran, he’s a legend already. To get him in his prime is really a big deal for us.”