Towers defends keeping Bradley in Triple-A

Towers defends keeping Bradley in Triple-A

PHOENIX -- D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said again on Tuesday that the decision not to promote top prospect Archie Bradley this week had nothing to do with delaying the right-hander's arbitration or free-agent clocks.

With their rotation struggling, the D-backs promoted Mike Bolsinger from Triple-A Reno to pitch in relief Monday and then take Trevor Cahill's spot in the rotation on Saturday.

At the time, Towers said the reason Bradley was not promoted was that the team still felt he had to improve his fastball command. In addition, the team did not want to bring him up at a time when the team was struggling as it is now because that would put too much pressure on Bradley.

"I think it's very apparent what is going on in Arizona," Bradley's agent, Jay Franklin, told FOXSports on Monday night. "Every ballplayer that is playing Minor League Baseball works his tail off to get an opportunity to play in the big leagues. Archie Bradley has proven to the Diamondbacks organization that he has deserved that opportunity by keeping his mouth shut and letting his numbers speak for his chance to pitch in the major leagues."

Towers said the agent's implication that the decision was financially motivated was simply not true.

Bradley pitched well in his first two starts of the spring but then struggled in his final two, and the D-backs decided to start him in Triple-A.

"If he would have continued to throw like he did his first two outings of Spring Training he would have been on our Opening Day roster regardless of the clock," Towers said. "But his two outings, including the one against Team Australia, he did not have the fastball command that we saw earlier in the spring. Struggling even with his secondary pitches to throw them for strikes, and we didn't feel like it was time at that point in time to break with our ballclub."

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.