The Arizona Diamondbacks are the worst team in baseball after 15 games.
Of course, the most meaningful part of that statement is the "15 games" part, but the early results (4-11) from the D-backs rotation aren't exactly inspiring tender reveries of hope. As a unit, Arizona's rotation has put up a 7.18 ERA so far. That's the worst in the majors, so their disappointing record is certainly backed up by some ominous statistics -- although their pythagorean record is a boastful 5-10.
Trevor Cahill, Brandon McCarthy, Will Harris, Oliver Perez, and Randall Delgado have all allowed nearly one run per inning. There is virtually no chance thy continue to pitch this poorly, if only for the simple fact that if they did, they wouldn't be on the team very long.
However, when the starting pitching is this injurious, the immediate question becomes: Where's Archie Bradley?
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal asked that question in his column on Monday, citing the team's rotational struggles and Bradley's 1.50 ERA in his first two Triple-A starts this year.
The 21-year-old was exceptional last year for Double-A Mobile last year, pitching to a 1.97 ERA in 123⅓ innings with 159 strikeouts to 59 walks. His performance was good enough to earn him a top ten showing on Baseball Prospectus' pre-season prospect ranking -- he was No. 9 overall. There was some speculation that he'd make the team out of spring training, but Arizona chose to keep him in the minors instead. Perhaps their plan was to hold him back until his chances of earning the Super Two designation were dashed. If so, that would put him on track to join the club somewhere around the All Star break, but the D-backs might not have the luxury if their current group continues to struggle.
Pat Corbin is out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and Trevor Cahill might be completely malfunctional. There is already some speculation that Cahill's job could be in jeopardy, but again, it's a sample of less than 20 innings, so attempting to draw ultimate conclusions about him at this point would be a mistake. Sometimes, guys just start slow.
Even if Cahill and his fellow slow starters bounce back, the D-backs could use another talented arm in the mix. It would be diligent of them to stick to the plan and keep Bradley in Triple-A until after the projected Super Two cutoff, but at a certain point, planning for the future can be detrimental to the present. It'd be great if they end up being a good team in 2020, but someone has to pitch in 2014.
The guys they have right now could use some help.