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D-backs reliever Brad Ziegler retires on 39th birthday

Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Brad Ziegler heads to the dugout after retiring Colorado Rockies' DJ LeMahieu on a ground out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Arizona Diamondbacks free agent reliever Brad Ziegler announced his retirement Wednesday, putting a bow on an 11-year MLB career.

The submarine pitcher, who retired on his 39th birthday, made the announcement by posting a letter to his Twitter feed.

“The daily grind has taken its toll on my body,” it read. “There were really tough times in the past two seasons when I wondered if I could physically continue doing what it would take to stay on the field, and even if I could continue to perform at the level I always had.

“However, I took great pride in taking the ball as often as I could — 82 games pitched this year! And I can thank the Dbacks for giving me another chance to pitch in exciting, meaningful games down the stretch and prove to myself that I wasn’t going to be pushed out of the game because I couldn’t compete anymore — I’m walking away knowing I still can.”

Ziegler spent four full seasons with the D-backs (2012-2015) in addition to parts of three more seasons in 2011, 2016 and 2018. He is the franchise leader in wins, innings pitched and appearances by a reliever.

His career began in 2008 with the Oakland Athletics, took him through Arizona from 2011-2016, to Boston in 2016 and then Miami in 2017-18 before the right-hander returned to the Diamondbacks for 29 games this past year.

Ziegler posted a 3.91 ERA with 10 saves and a 1.30 WHIP between the Marlins and D-backs in his final season.

For his career, Ziegler finishes with a 2.75 ERA and 1.26 WHIP with 105 saves, 37 blown saves and 147 holds. He appeared in 717.1 innings over 739 games, striking out 479 batters and with a 37-38 record.

Here’s Ziegler’s retirement letter in full:

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