Bradley a dynamic presence in D-backs' bullpen

Background as starter means righty could give club multiple innings at time

Bradley a dynamic presence in D-backs' bullpen

PHOENIX -- Who will be this year's Andrew Miller, the Indians left-hander who was a big reason Cleveland made it to the World Series and pushed the Cubs to the brink in seven games?

Miller threw multiple innings in multiple games -- he accounted for almost 30 percent of the bullpen usage -- shortening games and providing a new model for success in the postseason.

Date Time Highlights
Oct. 4 D-backs 11, Rockies 8 WATCH

"It's a big deal because the postseason is a different animal and starters typically aren't throwing seven or eight innings," D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray said. "So to have a guy that could step up and go multiple innings, multiple days is huge."

The D-backs, who will host the Rockies in the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday at 5 p.m. MST on TBS, have one such candidate in setup man Archie Bradley.

Bradley, the seventh overall pick in the 2011 Draft, was a starter throughout his Minor League career and in his first couple of big league seasons. But after losing out in his bid for a rotation spot this spring despite pitching extremely well, the D-backs decided to move the right-hander to the bullpen.

At first, Bradley was the team's long man, throwing as many as 3 1/3 innings in an appearance during the season's first month.

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As the season went on, he was moved into higher and higher-leverage situations, eventually serving as the eighth-inning setup man for closer Fernando Rodney.

Since the first month of the season, Bradley has pitched two innings in a game just three times, though he has gone one-plus innings plenty of times.

"The biggest thing is physically I am ready for that type of workload," Bradley said. "My starter background helps and I'm not that far removed from it. I understand how valuable it can be and what it can mean as far as shortening the game and getting the ball to Rodney or whoever depending on when I come in. It's exciting and I'm ready for it."

Bradley's first save

Bradley has pitched on back-to-back days 14 times this year and another 12 times with just one day of rest.

"I still feel comfortable going anywhere from two to three to four to five [innings]," Bradley said. "I don't know what the limit is. Obviously, it's a different type of feeling now, it's a different type of attitude and adrenaline. It's just about winning games. Whatever the pitch count is whatever the inning limit is I want the ball and I want to help us win."

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