At this point in the Arizona Fall League, Diamondbacks’ right-handed prospect Archie Bradley has not put up the greatest numbers.
In fact, numbers in the Fall League mean little.
With the league’s All-Star game slated for Saturday at 5 p.m., Pacific time, at the Diamondbacks’ spring training site at Salt River, Bradley, a member of the Salt River Rafters, was given the nod to start for the East Division. With the selection, the 22-year-old native of Muskogee, Okla., took the appointment as a humble athlete.
Then again, selection to either the West or East Division All-Star teams is not a reward for numbers. As East manager Andy Haines from the Marlins’ organization said, “this is more a prospect-driven game.”
At the league’s All-Star break, Bradley is 0-2, a 6.55 ERA in four starts. Numbers are not the reason Bradley is starting.
Rated as the MLB’s ninth ranked prospect and number three pitching prospect, Bradley gets the call because of his potential and logistics. Though he has not pitch since last Friday when he went four solid innings in a Fall League game against the Glendale Desert Dogs, Bradley said he threw two strong bullpen sessions this week and is ready to take the ball from Hanes.
“I’m humbled and this is a great honor,” he said Friday afternoon after the Rafters defeated the Scottsdale Scorpions 8-6 at Salt River Fields. “Really, it’s a big honor and for me, and opportunity to get my work in and take another step to get better.”
Since being told last Friday he would start the All-Star game, Bradley hoped for another start. Instead, he prepared with two those bullpen sessions.
In the end, the choice to start Bradley was a no-brainer.
“This was an easy decision,” said Haines. “It’s Salt River, Archie’s home spring training base, he is one of the top prospects in the game and he gets to start at home.”
Bradley is one three Diamondbacks’ prospects selected. Along with infielder Brandon Drury (hitting .195 15-for-60, two HR, five RBIs), Peter O’Brien (hitting .250, three HRs, eight RBIs) will catch Bradley. Though Bradley will not be on a pitch count, he is slated to go one, more likely two innings.
The length of his outing is dictated by the nature of an all-star game.
“You want to get as many guys in the game as possible,” Haines pointed out. “At the same time, you have to be careful not to use all of your bullets.”
Though each team of the Fall League is composed of players from five organizations, the notion prevails that the squad in itself is an all-star contingent. In a certain way, this may be the case, Haines said, but also identified a major difference.
“The all-star game is essentially a one game deal,” he said. “When you manage a team in this league, you do that over a six, seven week basis. Pitching is the major factor in an all-star game and you want to make sure guys get in but you also have to be careful how you use these guys.”
The game will be televised on the MLB network beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern, 5 p.m. Pacific time.
IN THE DIAMONDBACKS ORGANIZATION
On Friday, the Diamondbacks announced that right-handed pitchers David Hernandez and Bronson Arroyo and left-handed pitchers Patrick Corbin and Matt Reynolds have been moved from the 60-day disabled list.
That leave the club with 40 players on the active 40-man roster.
The next order of business for the organization is the general managers meeting slated for Phoenix, Nov. 11 and 12. Arrival date is Monday Nov. 10 and Diamondbacks’ GM Dave Stewart should start working the room, offer deals and entertain deals.
The GM meeting is a prelude to the baseball winter meetings, scheduled for San Diego in early December.