It’s relatively rare for an MLB team that their best reliever isn’t the closer. This is the situation the Diamondbacks are in with regards to Archie Bradley. Bradley has been their ace in the bullpen by a wide margin this year.
The right-hander has a minuscule 1.13 ERA in 16 innings with 19 K’s, three walks yielded, two home runs allowed, a 3.02 FIP and 0.75 WHIP.
The club’s closer Fernando Rodney has a 12.60 ERA in 10 innings with two home runs surrendered, seven walks issued, a 5.42 FIP, a 2.30 WHIP and two blown saves.
Bradley looks nothing like the pitcher who posted a 5.02 ERA in 26 starts one year ago. He’s blowing away opposing hitters with a great fastball in the high 90s and throwing his curve for strikes.
The D-backs have allowed Bradley to throw multiple innings this year. In a way, it’s similar to how the Cleveland Indians utilized Andrew Miller in the postseason last year.
The main reason Bradley hasn’t been named their closer with Rodney struggling is they don’t have anyone to assume Bradley’s role and remain productive as him.
It would also seem logical to put Bradley in the rotation with Miller done for the year. However, there are question marks if Bradley could dominate opposing teams over the length of a start. The longest relief outing for him this year is three and one-third innings.
The role that Bradley has currently is working for the club as he can throw multiple innings and allow other relievers in the bullpen to get some rest.