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#pounditWednesday, January 20, 2021

Madison Bumgarner placed on IL after second straight disastrous start

The beginning of Madison Bumgarner’s Arizona Diamondbacks career has been an underwhelming one, and now the pitcher is headed to the injured list.

The Diamondbacks announced Monday that Bumgarner has been placed on the IL, citing a mid-back strain. He was removed from Sunday’s start against the San Diego Padres after just two innings due to what was referred to as back spasms at the time.

This may offer an explanation for Bumgarner’s struggles this season, particularly in his last two starts. He gave up seven earned runs in 4.1 innings against the Houston Astros on Aug. 4, and was then tagged for six earned runs and four home runs in just two innings against San Diego. Bumgarner’s fastball velocity has been down significantly as well, averaging a career-worst 87.8 MPH according to Fangraphs. That’s a significant drop from the 91.4 mph average fastball he flashed last season with the San Francisco Giants. In total, he’s 0-3 with a 9.35 ERA in four starts.

The 31-year-old is in the first season of a hefty five year, $85 million deal with Arizona. The Diamondbacks will be seriously hoping his poor start is down to the injury and not a sign of things to come.

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