Phillies 2021 Season Player Preview: Archie Bradley

Archie Bradley #25, formerly of the Arizona Diamondbacks (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Archie Bradley #25, formerly of the Arizona Diamondbacks (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Last season, the Philadelphia Phillies were sixth in the National League in runs scored, yet finished under .500 and out of the postseason for the ninth straight season. This was largely due to the horrendous bullpen that posted the worst combined ERA over the past 90 years in Major League Baseball.

This offseason, the Phillies addressed the situation with several trade acquisitions and free-agent signings. Among the latter was most notably six-year veteran Archie Bradley. The Oklahoma native spent most of his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks, since debuting in 2015, and also appeared in six games with the Reds after being traded in late August this past season.

Bradley began his career as a starter, but transitioned to the bullpen after an ERA over five across 34 games in 2015 and 2016. Since, Bradley has been very consistent, even dominating at times. Case in point was his 1.73 ERA with only 55 hits allowed in 73 innings in 2017.

Predicting how Archie Bradley will fare in his first season in the Phillies bullpen

Bradley brings energy and confidence, which can only help the bullpen. He believes in the Phillies and has indicated he doesn’t care about saves. Bradley just wants to make the postseason and win. That was the reason he signed with the Phillies. Now, the question is what to expect from him this coming season.

Clearly, Bradley has the makings of a back-of-the-bullpen pitcher — either as a set-up man or closer. Chances are you’ll see him in both roles in 2021. With a career ERA out of the bullpen of 2.95 and having more than a strikeout per inning pitched, Bradley should be very dependable.

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As for actual numbers, that’s harder to predict. To take a stab at it, look for 9 to 10 strikeouts per nine innings, just under a hit per inning, and three walks per nine innings. His ERA should be around three — perhaps a little above or a little below.

In the end, Bradley’s enthusiasm and talent will infinitely help stabilize the infamous 2020 Phillies bullpen. That will play a big role in whether or not the Phillies end their Red October drought.

Archie Bradley could be Phillies closer come Opening Day. light. More