Arizona Diamondbacks manager Hale: Archie Bradley has ‘made a tough decision on us’

Apr 2, 2015, 6:52 PM | Updated: Apr 3, 2015, 12:09 am

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There are a lot of Arizona Diamondbacks fans who cannot wait to see Archie Bradley take the mound in a big league game.

Bradley, one of the team’s top prospects pretty much since being drafted seventh overall in 2011 out of high school, projects to be a top-of-the-rotation starter, and there is a belief that the 22-year-old is ready to make the jump to the majors.

Last week the D-backs named their starting rotation heading into the season, and Bradley was not part of it.

However, it appears his performance against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday, in which he allowed just one hit and zero runs while walking three and striking out two in six innings, may have put his name back in the conversation.

“We’re mulling over all our different scenarios,” D-backs manager Chip Hale said Thursday morning. “But he’s pitched so well that he’s really made a tough decision on us.”

Hale said the team has to make a decision soon, and it could be made by the end of the week.

“We’re definitely thinking.”

Currently, the D-backs’ rotation is made up of Josh Collmenter, Jeremy Hellickson, Trevor Cahill, Chase Anderson and Rubby De La Rosa.

Bradley was once arguably the top pitching prospect in all of baseball, but saw his stock dip a bit due to struggles last season. Dealing with an arm injury at times, he posted a 3-7 record with a 4.45 ERA in 83 innings across three levels.

In Triple-A Reno, he went 1-4 with a 5.18 ERA.

But Bradley has bounced back in a big way this spring, allowing just six runs — four earned — in 22.1 innings. The former first-round pick is 3-2 with a 1.61 ERA, with just six walks and 14 strikeouts.

There has been some discussion about possibly having Bradley begin his Major League career as a member of the D-backs’ bullpen before ultimately becoming a starter, and Hale said Bradley could start the season as a “length reliever” with the big league club.

Bradley may not be able to crack the starting rotation just yet, but if nothing else it appears he has restaked his claim as one of the top pitching prospects in the organization. Assuming he continues to pitch this way, it’s likely only a matter of time before he gets his first start for the team.

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