Archie Bradley isn’t accustomed to these bumps in the road.
The former prep two-sport star, who opted to enter the baseball draft instead of sign with the University of Oklahoma to play quarterback, is picking up the pieces after another short outing allowing five hits and six earned runs in under four innings of work in the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 loss Tuesday.
Since his hot start this season, which included out-dueling aces Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner, Bradley has struggled after being hit by a line drive to the face on April 28.
Since returning from a stint on the disabled list the seventh overall pick in the 2011 draft has allowed 14 earned runs in 10 2/3 innings.
The Diamondbacks are considering all options with the struggling right-hander, including a stint at Triple-A Reno but one baseball insider believes that may not be the ideal plan. ESPN’s Pedro Gomez compared Bradley’s early struggles to those of Baseball Hall of Fame member Tom Glavine who struggled as young starter with the lowly Atlanta Braves back in the early 1990’s.
Gomez believes the baptism by fire approach could pay dividends for both Bradley and the organization moving forward and his issues are not the result of the scary incident last month at Chase Field.
“There are times that an organization is going to say, ‘let’s let him take his licks at the major league level instead of Triple-A,'” Gomez told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Wednesday. “‘Maybe this year we don’t have enough to compete but…if he’s in the rotation all season…next year when he comes to spring training he’s going to know exactly what it takes to be much better.'”
Gomez knows Tony La Russa and the D-backs’ front office and organization have high expectations for the 22-year-old moving forward.
“He does have that ‘it factor,'” he explained to Cesmat. “He’s going to be a part of that rotation for years to come so why not let him learn to be a major league pitcher at the major league level rather than at the triple-A level?”
Bradley is 2-2 with a 5.28 earned run average. A stark contrast from the rookie’s 1.80 ERA last month.