Notes: Bradley on masks, workload; rotation

July 17th, 2020

Following the health and safety protocols could make all the difference when it comes to a team playing in the postseason or not in 2020, and D-backs reliever plans to make sure his teammates stay on top of it.

“I’m not going to shy away from the stuff that’s going on with wearing a mask, not wearing a mask, what we’re asking you to do, what we’re not asking you to do,” Bradley said. “Even little stuff. I’ll give you a story. Today, I walk into the training room -- I’m not calling a player out, but he was on the training [table] and he wasn’t wearing a mask. No big deal, he had just taken it off, but I walked over and handed him one.”

So far, the D-backs have remained relatively unscathed from any kind of COVID-19 outbreak, but they will face a new challenge when they go on the road for the first time Sunday for two exhibition games against the Dodgers.

They will then work out Tuesday at Angel Stadium before heading to San Diego and Arlington for the first regular-season games of 2020.

“Really, we are trying to put ourselves in our own bubble,” Bradley said. “We’ve all determined that we’re allowed to hang out with each other, but even then we’re trying to practice distancing and mask wearing. Already had meetings about protocols, rules.

"This first trip to L.A. is going to be new for everyone -- from the check-in, to the hotels, to the way we travel and eat and prepare. So I think the first two games of travel are going to be a very big orientation and welcome process for what the season is going to look like and how we’re going to handle not going out to eat, not going to the mall, not going to restaurants and stuff after games.”

Rotation shaping up
If things stay the way they’ve been over the past week, it looks like the rotation will line up as Madison Bumgarner, Robbie Ray, Zac Gallen and Luke Weaver. Merrill Kelly appears to be a frontrunner for the No. 5 spot.

Gallen got up to 72 pitches over 3 2/3 innings of an intrasquad game on Thursday.

“It was good,” Gallen said. “Executed a lot of pitches that I wanted to, worked on some things, holding runners and stuff like that. I feel like I could go out there and throw 120 pitches every time I’m out there. Probably not the healthiest idea, [but] I’m feeling good. Feel like I navigated the time off pretty well and stayed right where I needed to be.”

This is the first time there has ever been a 60-game schedule in Major League Baseball, so anticipating what workloads will look like for relievers is a guessing game.

Bradley, the team’s closer, has a number in mind for himself.

“I think if you were to look at it this way: If you were to tell me I was going to pitch in 30 games and I was going to pitch every other day -- like, pitch, day off, pitch, day off -- I think, realistically, I could do that,” Bradley said. “I think my body is ready to go.”

Of course, usage, especially when it comes to a closer, is dependent on the game situation, so Bradley may be called on to pitch two or three days in a row. That would require more than just a day of rest after a stretch like that.

“So I think it’s going to really depend on the luck of the draw,” Bradley said. “On usage, on games [that] I need to pitch in and also those games I don’t pitch in, how they line up with days off and rest days for myself. I think the 20-30 range is pretty realistic.”

Injury updates
First baseman Christian Walker (strained right groin) could resume some baseball activities over the weekend.

First baseman Kevin Cron (sore left hamstring) is scheduled to take some swings Friday.