Fantasy Football 2014:

D-backs breathe sigh of relief over Bradley's elbow

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks' top pitching prospect is ailing.

Right-hander Archie Bradley landed on the minor league disabled list Tuesday after a CAT scan and an MRI revealed a strain of the flexor muscle in his right elbow. The tests showed no structural damage and no fraying of the ulnar collateral ligament, general manager Kevin Towers said after Bradley flew to Phoenix for tests Monday.

"The one bit of good news we've had the last couple of weeks," Towers said.

UCL injuries can be a precursor to Tommy John surgery, an injury with which the D-backs have become all too familiar. No. 1 starter Patrick Corbin and top setup man David Hernandez underwent season-ending ligament replacement surgery in spring training, and Daniel Hudson and Matt Reynolds had the same operation the year before.

"A little worried when we heard that he was coming in, based on what we've gone through with David, 'Huddy,' Reynolds, Corbin, the UCL club that we have in there," Towers said.

Team orthopedist Michael Lee found an edema, a bit of blood and swelling in the flexor tendon area, but said it is "very, very minor." The D-backs will shut Bradley down for two weeks, Towers said, and gradually ease him into a throwing problem that will put him back on the mound in another month.

Rated the No. 9 minor league prospect by Baseball America this spring, Bradley, 21, is 1-4 with a 5.18 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Reno. He gave up 12 runs in his last 12 1/3 innings over three starts, but Towers said Bradley reported no discomfort until the morning after his last start Saturday, when he gave up seven hits, five runs and four walks in a loss to Salt Lake City.

"As a pitcher, you are going to have some soreness. The key thing is, structurally he is fine," Towers said.

Bradley's command lessened and his curveball was less effective recently, Towers said.

"Maybe (he was) watching what our ballclub was doing, maybe sniffing an opportunity to get up there and trying to do maybe a little too much," Towers said before the Diamondbacks suffered their fourth consecutive defeat, falling 5-4 to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday. "I don't know this. I am just of speculating this.

"When you are a young player and you are trying to nail it every time out, maybe you get away from what you have been doing your entire career. Your mechanics get a little out of whack."

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