With a league-leading 18 blown saves on the season, it’s not surprising that the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bullpen won’t be represented at the 2013 All-Star Game next week at Citi Field.
But while collectively the group has had its fair share of rough patches, the same can’t be said for middle reliever Brad Ziegler in 2013.
Ziegler, who is tied for the league-lead with 46 appearances, is 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. The 33-year-old has also allowed just seven of the 37 runners he’s inherited to score.
Closers Jason Grilli (Pirates) and Craig Kimbrel (Braves) might be the lone National League bullpen arms making the trip to the Big Apple next week, but Ziegler’s first-half hasn’t completely gone ignored.
In an Insider piece Monday, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney called the D-backs reliever one of baseball’s 10 under-the-radar ‘All-Stars.’
Arizona has had trouble figuring out what to do at the back end of the bullpen, but manager Kirk Gibson has one thing figured out: He can give the ball to Ziegler, who has appeared in 46 games, matching a major league high.
The right-hander has been used as more of a matchup guy this year, and averages less than an inning per outing, but he’s fared OK against lefties, too, holding them to a .655 OPS, with no homers in 51 at-bats.