Harkey confident Bradley will get back on track

Harkey confident Bradley will get back on track

ST. LOUIS -- D-backs starter Archie Bradley has been struggling in his last three starts, but pitching coach Mike Harkey has not lost any faith in the right-hander.

The main issue for Bradley comes down to command of his fastball, which would allow him to use his secondary pitches more.

"It's kind of gone backward a little bit, but it's not something that we can't work on and get better," Harkey said of Bradley's command. "We're going to just stay positive with him and make sure we put in the time needed to get him going."

Bradley had a 1.45 ERA in his first three starts and then was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, and spent 15 days on the disabled list. In three starts since his return, he has an 11.81 ERA.

"Once you get through those first two or three starts, it starts getting around the league," Harkey said. "They start watching video, they understand, they see the counts that you're in. You need to make adjustments a lot quicker than you did your first couple starts, when guys just don't know who you are, there's not a lot of history.

"The big leagues are about making adjustments, and his adjustment is he needs to command his fastball better, he needs to get strike one more, he needs to put hitters away in two or three pitches instead of having to take five or six. It's a process that all young pitchers go through. We hope that Archie is one of the good ones that pops out the other end of it."

Worth noting

• Slumping second baseman Chris Owings was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game Wednesday as he continues to put in extra work with hitting coaches Turner Ward and Mark Grace.

"They're doing some different drills, different things," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "I texted him today and told him we're going to give you another day. The worry is now, with all the different drills he's doing, the soreness. So tomorrow, with an off-day, it gives him a perfect break. He'll be back in there on Friday."

• The D-backs have slowed down left-hander Patrick Corbin in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, opting for the conservative approach.

After watching A's pitcher Jarrod Parker fracture his elbow recently while coming back from his second Tommy John surgery, the D-backs sent Corbin to have tests done on the bones around his elbow.

"They did all those tests for him, and he passed all of those tests with flying colors," Hale said. "They did it after he threw the last time, checked to make sure the bones were all strong, and it was all good."

• Injured third baseman Jake Lamb (left foot stress reaction) played four innings in an extended spring game Wednesday. He could head out on a rehab assignment next week.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.