After getting shelled in an unexpected start on Sunday, what’s next for Archie Bradley?
Lets start with this: Everyone likes Archie Bradley.
Well, everyone liked Archie Bradley. Deep down they still do but as the Diamondbacks fireballer has struggled this season, his number of fans has gone the opposite direction of his ERA.
Its been a long, strange trip for Archie. Drafted to be a potential future ace and early on his minor league performance fueled that, only to struggle to pitch consistently.
Then he got hit in the face with a line drive.
Then he came back.
And eventually was moved to the bullpen where his role there has closely followed his journey as a starter.
He immediately started pumping upper 90’s heat in his new role and was dominant in 2017 and felt like a mortal lock to take over as the long term closer and even face of the organization.
Along the way, he charmed everyone with his personality, his competitiveness and his beard. He produced one of the more memorable moments in recent Diamondbacks history with his improbably triple in the 2017 Wild Card game versus the Rockies.
And then he took a slight step back in 2018 as he was good but not great, struggling with his curveball blamed on a bad fingernail.
And now in 2019, he’s one of the most frustrating Diamondbacks. A pitcher that can’t get outs when the team needs him the most but a guy who’s still too talented and fills too big of a need to give up on.
The inconsistencies that Archie is showing were there when he was a starter as well.
Should the Dbacks trade him? Demote him? Send him to the minors?
The Dbacks, and Dbacks fans need to accept him. For what he is and really for what he has always been:
He’s not THE guy for the Dbacks rotation or bullpen. He’s just A guy. That has value, just not as much as we all hoped.