By Bob McManaman
It has spent more than 100 days on his face, so at this point, Archie Bradley can’t really see any reason he should shave his overgrown beard.
“I’m just going to see where this thing can go and, well, here it is,” the Diamondbacks pitcher said. “It’s very thick and it’s very annoying at times, but hey, Dallas Keuchel (of the Astros), from Oklahoma, he grows a beard, he wins a Cy Young. Jake Arrieta (of the Cubs), beard, Cy Young.
“So if I can follow in that path, I’d be very pleased with that.”
Wait, Cy Young? Archie Bradley?
Perhaps the 24-year-old from Muskogee, Okla., ought to worry about nailing down a spot in Arizona’s starting rotation before he starts dreaming about winning awards. By most accounts, there are six pitchers in line for the five spots and Bradley, at present, checks in at No. 6.
According to the updated depth chart on the team’s own website, the projected rotation is: Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Taijuan Walker, Patrick Corbin and Shelby Miller. Bradley is listed as sixth. Asked directly about Bradley’s chances to crack the top 5, new manager Torey Lovullo used the “six” word.
“I just want to say we feel fortunate that we have six quality starting pitchers,” he said. “Where that takes us and what direction we go with those six is yet to be determined, but you know, you guys are smart. You guys understand what’s going on. You’ll be able to follow what’s happening, I’m sure, but at this point in time, we’re all really excited about the six that we do have.”
Lovullo would later clarify that, of course – wink, wink, nod, nod – a handful of other pitchers remain in the mix for a starting role. Bradley, too, would later clarify what he meant about possibly winning the Cy Young Award, although he didn’t exactly back off about how he feels.
“Every guy should say this in this locker room, but I feel like I can win a Cy Young this year,” the right-hander said. “I’m not saying I’m going to. It’s not a prediction. But that’s how you have to feel about yourself. That’s what I want to do this year, is when I take the ball every fifth day, I want my teammates, I want the fans and my organization to know that day we’re going to have a chance to win a ballgame.”
Read more at dbacks.azcentral.com.