Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley would probably already be in the majors if not for being shut down with an elbow injury in late April, but the 21-year-old right-hander is healthy enough to make a minor-league rehab start yesterday.
It wasn’t an official regular season game, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Bradley tossed three innings in a rookie-ball exhibition versus Reds minor leaguers. According to Piecoro he allowed one run, struck out three, and was clocked at 93 miles per hour, which is very good news.
Bradley will likely be assigned to a regular minor-league team–presumably Triple-A–later this month, and then if he pitches well there while staying healthy the clock on his MLB debut can begin ticking again. Coming into the season Baseball America ranked Bradley as their ninth-best prospect.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.