Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo told reporters, including The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan, that big-ticket free-agent acquisition Madison Bumgarner was removed from Sunday's game due to back spasms (Twitter links). Bumgarner is returning to Phoenix to be looked at by team doctors.
It’s been a disappointing start to Bumgarner’s career with Arizona. The former Giants ace signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the rival Diamondbacks this offseason, and their union is off to a rocky start. Bumgarner is 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA/6.03 FIP through three starts. His strikeouts are down to 6.5 K/9 while his walks are up to 3.5 BB/9, although feel free to apply any/all small sample size warnings here as Bumgarner has totaled just 15 1/3 frames.
The big question with Bumgarner is about his velocity. The former World Series has averaged just 87.9 mph on his four-seamer this season after an average of 91.4 mph last season. The fear with this kind of velocity drop is that there’s an arm issue, although there’s been no indication of that from Bumgarner or the Diamondbacks.