Shipley, 24, will start Monday against Milwaukee. The 15th overall pick in 2013 is 8-5, 3.70 at Triple-A Reno. His 5.8 strikeouts per nine innings is a career-low rate, but so is his 1.6 walks per nine innings.
The last-place Diamondbacks have starters Zach Greinke and Rubby de la Rosa on the disabled list.
“He’s really pitched well in Reno,” Arizona manager Chip Hale told reporters. “When you talk to (Reno manager) Phil Nevin, there’s been a couple … farmhands have come through and really have controlled the offenses in Reno’s ballpark, and Braden’s one of those guys. We’re excited about it.”
Shipley isn’t missing as many bats as he has his in his career—he has a career 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings rate—but that’s by design. He’s getting far more ground balls than in the past and his fastball has been more low-90s than mid-90s. Shipley said the realization that he has a good sinker has changed his approach. He told BA correspondent Nick Piecoro that he can still reach back for 94 mph, but is more effective when he throttles back. When he humps the fastball, he said, it can get flat.
While Shipley says he can still reach back for the occasional 94 mph, he mostly sits in the 89-91 range. Shipley’s changeup and curveball have been called average to tick-above pitches, but he’s able to locate all three pitches.
WHAT TO EXPECT
It appears this will be a spot start for Shipley while Greinke recovers from a left oblique strain. If he does well, it’s possible the Diamondbacks could give him an extended audition, especially with the reports that righthander Shelby Miller is available for a trade.
With his new approach, Shipley apparently won’t pile up the strikeouts, but he keeps the ball in the park and should pitch to a league-average ERA if not a bit better.