By: Hubble Smith, Sports Editor
Chasen Bradford of Henderson made his Triple-A debut Monday for the Las Vegas 51s, pitching the eighth inning in an 11-5 loss to the Colorado Sky Sox at Colorado Springs, Colo. He gave up three runs on three hits and a walk with no strikeouts.
Bradford, 24, was called up from Double-A Binghamton to strengthen a 51s pitching staff that has been picked over by the parent New York Mets and beset with injuries in the first two months of the season.
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound righthander was 1-2 with a 2.03 ERA for Binghamton and was third in the Eastern League with 11 saves. He’ll fill a roster spot vacated by 51s pitcher Jeff Walters, who underwent an MRI and was found to have a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Bradford earned all-state honors at Silverado High School, where he played third base and pitched for the Skyhawks, and was named second-team Louisville Slugger All-American. He was especially impressive in his junior year (2006), posting an 11-0 record with 0.65 ERA and leading Silverado to the Sunrise Region championship and runner-up in Nevada. He was 5-4 with a 2.50 ERA as a senior, striking out 70 batters in 69 innings.
The New York Mets drafted Bradford in the 35th round of the 2011 amateur draft out of University of Central Florida. While some see him as a strikeout pitcher, Bradford said he would rather rely on his defense. He possesses a good sinker-slider that helps him get out of jams.
Bradford said he was excited about joining his hometown Las Vegas 51s in Colorado Springs and getting one step closer to the Major Leagues.
“Got the jitters out. Gotta get better tomorrow, will get better tomorrow,” he posted on Twitter after the game.
Las Vegas leads the Pacific Coast League Pacific South Division with a 36-28 record and is on a 16-game road trip, starting in Colorado Springs and moving on to Oklahoma City June 13-16.
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