May 15: The Rangers have made it official, announcing the selection of Bradford’s contract today. In a corresponding move, righty Yerry Rodríguez was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.
May 14: The Rangers announced that Cody Bradford will have his contract selected from Triple-A on Monday, as Bradford is slated to start Texas’ game against the Braves. The 25-year-old left-hander will be making his Major League debut. Texas will have to make a corresponding move for the 26-man active roster, but there’s already space on the 40-man after Ian Kennedy was designated for assignment earlier this week.
It might end up being just a cup of coffee in the Show for Bradford, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News notes that the Rangers are using him as a spot starter to give the rotation an extra day of rest. The Rangers are 10 games into a stretch of 13 games in 13 consecutive days, and the rotation is already a little short-handed with Dane Dunning taking the place of the injured Jacob deGrom. Dunning has pitched well in his first two starts but hasn’t thrown more than 72 pitches, so he’ll a bit of a breather before taking the mound again on Tuesday.
This opens the door for Bradford to make his first big league appearance in front of his local fans, as Bradford’s hometown of Aledo, Texas is about 40 minutes west of Globe Life Field. Bradford also stayed close to home in playing his college ball at Baylor, and the Rangers made him a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft. Between thoracic outlet surgery and the canceled 2020 minor league season, Bradford didn’t make his pro debut until 2021.
Perhaps due to this layoff, the southpaw was rather inconsistent at high-A and Double-A in 2021 and 2022, though he limited walks and had respectable strikeout numbers. This season has been a big surge in bottom-line results, as Bradford has a tiny 0.91 ERA over seven starts and 39 2/3 innings at Triple-A Round Rock. A .206 BABIP and a huge 92.5% strand rate indicate a lot of good luck in that minuscule ERA, but Bradford has also allowed only one home run, which is a positive step after surrendering 18 long balls over 118 2/3 frames last year.
Baseball America ranks Bradford 22nd amongst Rangers prospects, while MLB Pipeline ranks him 26th. His 60-grade changeup is considered to be his best pitch, while his 55-grade fastball has good movement despite an average velocity in the low 90s. Bradford started using a cutter last season that is showing good results as both a third offering, and as a way to better disguise a slider that has been mostly ineffective, as per BA’s scouting report.
guy has been great. wonder who they dfa though
No one, they have an open roster spot on the 40 man. It’s a matter of who gets optioned.
deGrom Texas Ranger
To the guy who replies with, “Read the article,” these comments were probably posted before the update that Kennedy was DFA’d. I still expect a response like that, though.
Ian Kennedy was DFA’d about a week ago, FYI
I’m guessing it’s Sam Huff that gets sent back to Round Rock to make room.
Has to be a pitcher. 13 of each. Probably Yerry or Ragans. Likely Yerry.
His pic looks like a baseball card from 1990
Dane Dunning beginning to acquit himself against the Lance Lynn trade.
Turning out to be a good one for the Rangers. Lynn had an excellent 2021 but has looked bad since. Plus, he’s making $19 million a year. We have Eovaldi and Dunning for less than that.
Dunning was always underrated as a prospect. His breakout is no fluke.
deGrom Texas Ranger
Until this year, I thought he was overrated as a prospect. A fourth of a season makes such a big difference, I guess!
I’m watching him pitch now. He tops out at 89 with very little movement. His off speed stuff is 81. I don’t predict a long major league career for him. He just gave up two mammoth homers and a liner off the wall, all pulls so now I wonder if he’s even going to make it through the 3rd inning.
The Braves are torching this guy. I’m not sure why this was necessary.
Chad Bradford’s son.
Chad disowned him after last night.