Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo told reporters including The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan that big-ticket free-agent acquisition Madison Bumgarner was removed from today’s game due to back spasms (Twitter links). Bumgarner is returning to Phoenix to be looked at by team doctors.
It’s been a disappointing start to Bumgarner’s career outside of San Francisco. The former Giants’ ace signed a four-year, $72MM deal with the rival Diamondbacks this offseason, and their union is off to a rocky start. Bumgarner is 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA/6.03 FIP through 3 starts. His strikeouts are down to 6.5 K/9 while walks are up to 3.5 BB/9, though feel free to apply any/all small sample size warnings here as Bumgarner has logged just 15 1/3 frames.
The big question with Bumgarner regards his velocity. The former World Series hero is averaging just 87.9 mph on his four-seamer this season after an average of 91.4 mph last season. The fear with this kind of velocity drop is that there’s an arm issue, though there’s been no indication of that from Bumgarner or the Diamondbacks.