Five candidates for fifth spot in D-backs rotation
Although he’s projected to be the long man out of the bullpen, his numbers this spring have been impressive enough to start: 2.08 ERA in 13 innings with 14 strikeouts including an outing this spring in which he struck out former MVPs and World Series heroes Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and David Freese.
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He is the only left-handed option for the rotation, but his 7.71 ERA in 14 innings pitched is not convincing. Although he’s struck out 13, he’s also walked seven.
Earlier in the spring Chip Hale declared that he would be on the roster, but whether he will start or be coming out of the bullpen is now the question. The Diamondbacks think highly of him, but he may not be able to give the team enough innings early on as he returns from multiple Tommy John surgeries. He has a 6.43 ERA in seven innings this spring.
The only non-roster candidate and the youngest of the bunch, Archie Bradley has certainly been making his case this spring. Although Dave Stewart said the club does not want to rush him, he’s posted a 2.20 ERA in 16 1/3 innings — the most for any D-backs pitcher this spring. He’s also done it against great competition according to his OppQual rating of 9.0.
Both Chip Hale and Dave Stewart have previously given their seal of approval to Chase Anderson. He’s posted the best ERA of the bunch at 1.84 in 14 2/3 innings. He may not have the strikeout potential of the other candidates, but he has fanned 10 this spring against four walks. He also pitches with some extra motivation on the mound as he remembers his late father.