Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock speaks about the controversial call that went against him in the 10th inning of Arizona’s win over the Rockies on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
1 of 23
Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso talks about his two-run, walk-off homer to beat the Rockies in the 13th inning on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
2 of 23
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses the team’s strong pitching fueling Arizona’s walk-off win over the Rockies on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
3 of 23
Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin talks about his strong, scoreless outing against the Rockies in Sunday’s win. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
4 of 23
Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney talks about his outing vs. the Rockies, and says he’ll have no trouble bouncing back from his latest setback. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
5 of 23
Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke talks about his start on Saturday night, in which he allowed three earned runs in six-plus innings vs. the Rockies. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
6 of 23
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller explains his decision to undergo Tommy John surgery, April 29, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
7 of 23
Manager Torey Lovullo, left-hander Robbie Ray and catcher Chris Iannetta react to the loss.
8 of 23
Chris Owings talks about the first multi-homer game of his career, and how he’s feeling at the plate after homering three times in the past four games.
9 of 23
Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker says his fastball was working well for him on Thursday night.
10 of 23
Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller says he has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and that Tommy John surgery is an option, April 27, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
11 of 23
Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney on Wednesday’s blown save against San Diego.
12 of 23
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reacts to the Padres’ comeback win.
13 of 23
Wednesday night’s game against the Padres drew the smallest crowd in Diamondbacks history.
14 of 23
Manager Torey Lovullo, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to Tuesday’s win. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
15 of 23
Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Greinke and shortstop Chris Owings react to Monday’s home win over the Padres. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
16 of 23
Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller did not provide many details on his elbow injury on Monday, but he is planning to receive a second opinion on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
17 of 23
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller talks about arm injury suffered during the 6-2 loss to the Dodgers, April 23, 2017. (Scott Bordow/azcentral sports)
18 of 23
David Peralta talks about the Diamondbacks’ offense and his record-setting four doubles Saturday.
19 of 23
Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray talks after his team’s 11-5 victory over the Dodgers.
20 of 23
Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Taijuan Walker, shortstop Chris Owings and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to the 13-5 win.
21 of 23
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt says the Diamondbacks couldn’t string together enough hits against the Padres on Thursday night.
22 of 23
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s 4-1 loss to the Padres and their 4-6 road trip through San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
23 of 23
A.J. Pollock on controversial play: “You guys saw the replay”
Descalso talks about walk-off home run over Rockies
Lovullo on pitching, more in D-Backs’ wild win
Corbin discusses his scoreless outing vs. Rockies
Fernando Rodney talks about his latest blown save
Zack Greinke after outing vs. Rockies
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller to have Tommy John surgery
Diamondbacks fall 3-1 to Rockies
Chris Owings on his two-homer night
D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker on his 11-strikeout performance vs. Padres
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller considering Tommy John surgery
Fernando Rodney reacts to his blown save against the Padres
Torey Lovullo reacts to Diamondbacks’ ‘heartbreaking’ loss
Diamondbacks attendance hits new low
Diamondbacks pull away from Padres for 9-3 win
Diamondbacks hold on for win over Padres
Shelby Miller on his injury, visit with team doctor
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller discusses arm injury
David Peralta on his record-setting night
Robbie Ray reacts to Saturday’s win over the Dodgers
Diamondbacks use 9-run eighth to overwhelm Dodgers
Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs’ offense vs. Padres
Manager Torey Lovullo breaks down D-Backs’ loss, road trip
Archie Bradley isn’t sure what he is anymore and at this point, he really doesn’t care. Things have been going so well, the right-hander just wants to keep his head down and do whatever he is told.
“Exactly, kind of like a dog,” he said.
“You know, ‘Hey, go here. Hey, go there.’ Just point me where you want me to go and tell me what you want me to do.”
Bradley started spring training as a starting pitcher, trying to crack the Diamondbacks’ five-man rotation. Instead, he entered the season as a long reliever. But his stuff was so good in that role that the Diamondbacks decided to use him in more meaningful innings later in games.
And wouldn’t you know it, Bradley has been dominating in that role, too, so naturally the Diamondbacks have been contemplating what they can do with him next. And talk about your extremes, Bradley might be the only pitcher in baseball who is being considered both as a starter and possibly, as a closer.
They need another starter now that Shelby Miller will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season. And they’ve been toying with the idea of making Bradley their new ninth-inning man if Fernando Rodney keeps having meltdowns like he did in his last two blown save opportunities.
Bradley will be a starter…eventually
Manager Torey Lovullo said the organization still views Bradley as a starting pitcher in the long-term, although he has ruled out the possibility of using him that way for the time being. Arizona will recall a pitcher from the minors to at least temporarily fill that role and start Thursday at the Nationals.
And there was Bradley on Sunday, entering the game in the ninth inning of a scoreless affair against the Rockies at Chase Field, and retiring the side in order in what became the longest scoreless tilt in the ballpark’s history.
The Diamondbacks prevailed with a walk-off home run by Daniel Descalso in the 13th inning.
Lovullo said there wasn’t anything to read into Bradley pitching the ninth inning, suggesting it might have been more matchup-related and just the way things played out. But Bradley said he’s open to changing roles again.
“Not to sound too cliché, but I’ve been pretty bland with it,” he said. “I’m just so locked in with the way I’m throwing the ball right now. Obviously, I’ve heard the talk and we’ve talked a little bit, but I just kind of told them, ‘Look, man. I’m just in my tunnel right now. You guys put me where you want to put me.’
“I’m just so locked in and focused on doing my job that I mean, this is what you want to have happen. You want to throw the ball well and put your names in these conversations to be either in the rotation, be the closer, the back-end guy or the long guy. To me, it doesn’t matter.”
‘When that phone rings, you’ve got to be ready’
Bradley’s situation is fluid. It could change from game to game. The only certainty at the moment is that he’s going to remain in the bullpen – in some form or fashion.
“The way we look at it is he’s been pretty dominant in the bullpen and we just felt like that’s where he’s shown a comfort,” Lovullo said. “So for right now, we want to continue with that and allow him to continue to be as dominant as he has been. It made a lot of sense for me.”
And yet Lovullo and the front office still consider Bradley as a starting pitcher first and foremost. Just not right now.
“Long term, we’re still going to project him as a starter. That’ll be another conversation in a different point in time,” Lovullo said. “During our discussions we’re going to consider all options, but for right now, I felt like Archie’s best role for this team moving forward is out of the bullpen.”
What’s interesting is how well Bradley has been able to keep his focus and keep pitching as well as he has with all the talk and distractions swirling around him on a daily basis. Bradley said it’s been easy.
“You’re day to day,” he said. “You come to the field with a plan and you take care of what you need to. Really, the bullpen has helped me out a ton. When that phone rings, you’ve just got to be ready. When that phone rings, whatever you’re doing, it doesn’t matter. When that phone rings, it’s a different train of thought – just be ready to go.”
There is something he misses about the four-day preparation period between starts. When he was strictly a starter, he enjoyed the physical and mental ramp-up as a member of the rotation.
“Yeah, and I still do in some ways,” Bradley said. “But at the same time, you can impact a game any given day out of the bullpen.”
More D-Backs: MLB power rankings: D-Backs a surprise in first month
More D-Backs: Descalso a guy every good team needs
Reach McManaman at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac and listen to him live every Wednesday night between 7-9 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.
Diamondbacks at Nationals
When: 4:05 p.m.
Where: Nationals Park, Washington D.C.
Pitchers: Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker (3-1, 3.94) vs. Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (3-0, 3.64).
TV/Radio: FSAZ/KTAR-AM (620), KHOV-FM (105.1).
Walker is coming off his best start yet with the Diamondbacks, an outing against the Padres in which he gave up two runs in eight innings, tying a career high with 11 strikeouts. … Walker has been tough on righties (.208 average, .567 OPS), but lefties have hit him harder, with a .254 average and .803 OPS, including a .498 slugging. … He has never faced the Nationals. … Roark has yet to allow more than three earned runs in a start this season. … He is averaging just shy of six innings per outing. … In 28 1/3 innings against the Diamondbacks in his career, Roark owns a 2.51 ERA. … OF Yasmany Tomas has gone 2 for 6 against him with both of the hits being home runs.
Wednesday: At Washington, 4:05 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (2-1, 3.56) vs. Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-0, 1.62).
Thursday: At Washington, 10:05 a.m., Diamondbacks TBA vs. Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (3-2, 2.94).
Friday: At Colorado, 5:40 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (2-2, 3.19) vs. Rockies LHP Tyler Anderson (1-3, 7.71).
Nationals update: At 17-8, the Nationals own the best record in the majors. They also own the best run differential in baseball, scoring 48 more runs than they’ve allowed. Their offense has been virtually unstoppable the past six games, a stretch in which they’re averaging about 12 runs per game. 3B Anthony Rendon had an incredible day on Sunday against the Mets, going 6 for 6 with three home runs and 10 RBIs. He hadn’t hit a home run this season entering the day. The Nationals suffered a huge blow last week with the loss of CF Adam Eaton to a knee injury; he is expected to be lost for the season. If any team can sustain the loss, it’s the Nationals, who have five players that have an OPS north of .900, including RF Bryce Harper, who is hitting a ridiculous .391/.509/.772 this season. But 1B Ryan Zimmerman has been even better, with a .420/.458/.886 line. Their pitching has not been as strong, particularly their bullpen. While the Nationals’ rotation ranks sixth in the league with a 3.92 ERA, their bullpen is last with a 5.70 ERA.