A D-backs reliever finally took the bullpen cart at Chase Field
Aug 2, 2018, 9:12 PM | Updated: Aug 3, 2018, 7:17 am
The buzz was palpable on Opening Day at Chase Field. After the Diamondbacks led MLB’s re-introduction of the bullpen cart, would an Arizona reliever take the free ride?
No, no they would not, and they would continue to not. A couple of visiting pitchers would do so, but not a D-back.
Over halfway through the season, not one D-backs pitcher came out of the bullpen to enter the game via a ride on a cart in the shape of a baseball with a D-backs hat being held up by baseball bats.
The wild card in this entire story, though, would be the trade deadline, when general manager Mike Hazen acquired relievers Jake Diekman and Brad Ziegler.
Diekman would take the bullpen cart, but not to the mound. Instead, he received a ride from the visitors clubhouse to Arizona’s when he was traded while his team, the Texas Rangers, were in town.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 1, 2018
On Thursday night, Diekman’s debut came against the San Francisco Giants. The drama ensued when Diekman did not take the cart, which, to be fair, did not have Baxter at the wheel like the pitcher’s trip to the clubhouse.
Ziegler, however, would enter the game later in that inning and indeed accepted the courtesy.
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) August 3, 2018
After giving up a sacrifice fly to his first hitter, perhaps it will only be a one-time deal for Ziegler. Time will tell.
Ziegler said after the game that he likes the bullpen cart to help him maintain his heart rate while coming in for a nervy situation with runners on base.
“If I can avoid jogging in, then why jog in, especially with all the adrenaline that I already had tonight, it dampened it a little bit,” he said.
Ziegler wouldn’t commit as to whether or not he’d use it again.