Bradley's aggressive approach in 'pen paying off

Bradley's aggressive approach in 'pen paying off

LOS ANGELES -- For someone who had only pitched in relief one time back in rookie ball, D-backs right-hander Archie Bradley seems to have taken to this whole bullpen role quite well.

With a 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief Sunday afternoon against the Dodgers, Bradley extended his scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings spread out over four appearances.

"I've done a good job adjusting," Bradley said. "[Bullpen coach Mike Fetters] and the other pitchers down there have really made it easy on me and really shown me the ropes and given me good advice on how to prepare and how to be ready for certain situations."

Bradley K's Naquin

Bradley pitched well this spring in his battle for a rotation spot, and when the D-backs decided to go with Zack Greinke, Patrick Corbin, Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray and Shelby Miller, they could not justify sending Bradley back to the Minors. So they decided to give him a chance to pitch out of the bullpen.

Bradley's biggest concern was if he would have any issues getting ready quickly in the bullpen as opposed to the 30 minutes that some starters take to go through their pregame routine, but that hasn't ended up being an issue.

"Really the only thing different is just I'm being a lot more aggressive," Bradley said of his approach on the mound. "Understanding that I'm not going to go through this lineup three or four times, it may be two times at the most. Kind of when guys step in you're going to get a fastball and you're going to get a chance to do something, but I'm coming at you. That's the kind of the mentality you want to have."

Bradley's velocity is up in the bullpen with his fastball touching 97 mph, which it hadn't done in couple of years.

"Obviously in the bullpen it's going to be just a tick up than it has been, but I've been throwing hard all spring," Bradley said. "Knock on wood, I'm healthy, I feel good and things are just on time and the way they should be."

Of course, some habits are hard to break.

"It's definitely different," Bradley said. "[The relievers] give me heck because I still go hit with the starters and hang out with the starters a little bit. I think that's always going to be in me. I'm enjoying it. The guys down there are awesome. They made my transition easy."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.