D-backs name Archie Bradley closer for 2020 season

Jul 18, 2020, 4:22 PM | Updated: 7:38 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Archie Bradley pumps his fist as he watches the final out by th...
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Archie Bradley pumps his fist as he watches the final out by the San Diego Padres during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Padres 4-1. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Archie Bradley will be the closer for the Arizona Diamondbacks for the 2020 campaign.

Manager Torey Lovullo made the announcement on a Zoom call with media on Saturday shortly after the right-hander’s tweet alluding that he may have been named the team’s closer.

“It means the obvious: It’s a wonderful Archie moment where he was super excited with the news,” Lovullo said. “I was aware that he sent that out a very short time after my conversation with him.

“It means he’s going to get the baseball at the back end of our close games. He had a small sample size of it last year, he’s been growing and learning as a pitcher each and every year, each and every outing, and I think that he’s ready to get the baseball at the back end of our games.”

Bradley, who turns 28 in August, is entering his sixth year with the Diamondbacks.

It’s no secret that the right-hander has had his fair share of both successes and struggles out of the bullpen over his career in Arizona.

Since moving to the bullpen in 2017, Bradley has had 39 career save opportunities, only 22 of which resulted in a D-backs victory.

However, despite the low career save percentage, his time as a closer in 2019 was one of the best stretches of his career.

After taking over for Greg Holland on July 30 last season, Bradley managed to secure 18 saves in 21 opportunities (86%) while posting a 2.10 ERA over 25.2 IP (25 games).

In 2017, Bradley posted a 1.73 ERA to go along with 79 strikeouts and one save in 73 innings of work (63 games).

“Everybody thought after that 2017 season that it would be a slam-dunk situation for us to make him our closer, but he has grown and learned so much about himself through some great times and the limited rough patches that he’s had, that I know that he’s prepared for this challenge,” Lovullo said.

“But I think that it’s internally, that he believes that he’s ready for this challenge. He knows that he’s paid his dues. He’s watched three really good closers ahead of him go out and close baseball games and I now know that he feels like this is his opportunity and his chance, and I don’t think that he wants to give this up.”

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