PHOENIX — Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers was eager to put the Archie Bradley service time issue to bed Tuesday.
In fact, Towers said that Bradley would have made the starting rotation out of spring training if the command of his fastball and secondary pitches shown in his first two spring outings would have been the same in his final two.
"If we felt at the start of the season that this guy (Bradley) was right, he would have been here, regardless of the clock," Towers said.
"We want to win games. We want to go with our best five. If we felt he was ready to compete at the big-league level … we didn’t think it was the right time. We don’t think it is the right time now."
Towers’ comments were in response to those made by Bradley’s agent, Jay Franklin, after the D-backs on Monday promoted right-hander Mike Bolsinger to take Trevor Cahill’s spot in the starting rotation, bypassing Bradley and Bo Schultz.
"I think it is very apparent what is going on in Arizona," agent Jay Franklin told FOX Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal on Monday night, alluding to the fact that the D-backs could save a year of arbitration eligibility on Bradley by delaying his arrival until late May.
"Archie Bradley has proven to the Diamondbacks organization that he deserved that opportunity by keeping his mouth shut and letting his numbers speak for his chance to pitch in the major leagues."
Bradley, the best prospect in the D-backs’ system, is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA at Triple-A Reno. Schultz is 1-1 with a 2.41 ERA there. Bolsinger was 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA, and his promotion also had a lot to do with the D-backs’ needs Monday. With starter Josh Collmenter on a limited pitch count, the D-backs wanted another long reliever. Bolsinger has done that in his career. Bradley has not.
"We were not going to put Archie in a situation where he was coming out of the bullpen, which he hasn’t done all year," Towers said. "Those are the kinds of things that can create arm problems.
D-backs pitching coordinator Dave Duncan and director of baseball operations Ryan Isaac watched Bradley’s last start in Tucson, when he gave up three hits and two runs in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to El Paso in Tucson on Friday.
"He’s making progress. He is doing well, "Towers said. "We fully expect if things continue to progress the way they are that at some point in time . . . I’m not smart enough to know when that is going to be . . . he’ll find his way up here to be in a big league uniform.
"We’re going to protect this incredible asset we have in Archie Bradley. When we bring him up, we want it to be when he is commanding the fastball, he’s got the breaking ball, he’s got the changeup. A lot has to do with innings, too. Innings up here and different than innings down there.
Towers said he has not been in contact with Bradley or Franklin, whose brother Ryan was a major league pitcher with Seattle and St. Louis.
"We’re going to do what’s best for the organization and for Archie," Towers said. "We’re going to run our business and not let anybody else dictate how we do our business."