4/29/2014 8:54 P.M. ET
Rocky defense playing role in D-backs' slow start
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Last year the D-backs were regarded as one of, if not the, best defensive team in the Majors.
This year, not so much.
In 2013, the D-backs were named by Wilson as baseball's top defensive team, but this year they entered Tuesday's game leading the National League in errors with 27.
"I think the most concerning thing for me is probably the defense," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said. "We've always taken great pride in that."
It would appear that the struggles on offense might be a part of the problem.
"A lot of those are just guys that are taking their offensive struggles out to the field," Towers said of the miscues. "I think as some of our hitters start to pick it up and swing the bat better our defense will improve."
Elbow strain sends top prospect Bradley to DL
PHOENIX -- D-backs pitching prospect Archie Bradley has been placed on the 7-day Triple-A disabled list with a mild flexor strain in his right elbow.
It is expected to be about two weeks before Bradley is allowed to play catch again.
Bradley woke up after his start on April 26 and felt a little more sore than usual, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said.
Bradley flew to Phoenix, where a CT scan and MRI were performed and he was examined by team physician Michael Lee. The tests showed no damage to the ulnar collateral ligament.
"It came back as edema, there's a little bit of blood in there, swelling, but the UCL was intact. There was no fraying, it looked very, very strong," Towers said. "Dr. Lee said this is probably very, very minor. It was very good news. Probably no throwing for two weeks and then start him back up again, and hopefully in a month he's back throwing in games."
Bradley was 1-4 with a 5.18 ERA in five starts for Reno. He opened the season with two impressive starts, but then had three subpar ones. This past spring he pitched well in his first two outings, which put him in the mix for a rotation spot, but he faltered in his final two starts and they elected to option him to Triple-A.
"Maybe the same thing that happened in Spring Training happened here in the season," Towers said. "Started watching what our ballclub was doing, kind of sniffing maybe an opportunity to get up there and maybe trying to do a little too much. I don't know this, I'm just speculating this."
Towers confident with ownership's support
PHOENIX -- As the D-backs struggle to find wins, general manager Kevin Towers said he still feels like he has the support of managing general partner Ken Kendrick and team president/CEO Derrick Hall.
"My office basically looks into his, so we're around each other every day," Towers said of Hall. "He's as frustrated as we are, as I'm sure Ken is. I feel we have the support, but I would imagine they're evaluating things as we're evaluating things, and hopefully we have their continued support and they're patient enough to where if this club is, which believe it is, a good ballclub and we turn it around and we start feeling good about ourselves again."
With the payroll at a record $110 million this year, more was expected than an 8-21 start, which includes a 2-14 mark at home.
There are not a lot of places for the organization to look for outside help at this point.
"We have significant dollars tied up in our core club that's out there right now and guys with a lot of experience with good track records," Towers said. "They're pros and they'll find a way to work their way out of it. It's just trying to stay positive. I know you probably hear that every day from us, but being positive is better than being negative right now. I think if it's one of those things where you're screaming and yelling and putting added pressure on these guys I just don't think that they respond well to that."
Towers refuses to place the blame on manager Kirk Gibson.
"If you're going to point fingers, point fingers at everybody," Towers said. "It's not because of Gibby, it's not because of just the players. We're all in this together and we're either going to find a way to get out of it together or we're not. They're trying. Nobody's giving up here. People want the answers, and if we had the answers we wouldn't be going through it. I think they're searching for answers, too. Baseball is a crazy game. I know the staff is doing everything in their power, the players are."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.