Diamondbacks pitching prospect Archie Bradley has the unenviable task of opposing 2014 NL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw Saturday night in his major league debut against the Dodgers. As if simply making a big league debut isn’t stressful enough, he’ll have to get through the best pitcher of this generation if he wants a win. Bradley, though, seems to be looking forward to the challenge. Via MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert:
“I mean, it’s exciting,” Bradley said. “He’s one of the best, if not the best, in all of baseball. I just take it as a challenge, like why not start my career against someone like him? At the end of the day it’s about keeping them from scoring and he’s going to do the same. So it’s just about pitching my game.”
Bradley pitched well during Cactus League play this spring, posting a 1.61 ERA and a 14/6 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings. His performance gave the D’Backs enough confidence to trade Trevor Cahill to the Braves, opening up a starting rotation spot.
Entering this season, Bradley was rated the #11 overall prospect by Baseball Prospectus. The 22-year-old was also rated #15 overall by MLB.com and #25 by Baseball America.
To make things more difficult, Bradley will also have to face Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who is seeing beach balls to start the season. Gonzalez is 11-for-18 with five home runs and 11 RBI. Three of those home runs came in one game, Wednesday against the Padres.