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Russell Branyan ready for new start

Russell Branyan has spent the majority of his career as a journeyman, playing for eight teams in 12 seasons and never finding a true home.

However, the now 35-year-old Branyan hopes his ninth stop in Arizona will be more permanent as a veteran presence on a young Diamondbacks team.

He joined the Sports 620 KTAR’s Gambo and Ash show Monday to talk about his role with the team and what he hopes to accomplish this season.

Branyan signed a minor league contract in the off-season after he was released by Seattle and said he hopes to be in the mix for starting at first base.

“Looking at what the ball club has, I felt like with what I am capable of doing with the bat and playing at first base and can mix around the infield a little bit, I think I’d be a nice addition to the ball club,” Branyan said.

Branyan had a career high 31 home runs and 76 RBIs in 2009 with the Mariners and said he thought he would be in Seattle for a significant amount of time before injuries derailed his hopes.

“All in all, I enjoyed my time in Seattle. I had a great time there, the fans are great, the city is outstanding,” Branyan said.

“The ball club we had in ’09 was a great team. I had a lot of fun there and in the end it just didn’t work out.”

Branyan said he needs to be more patient at the plate this season to make an impact with his power and looks forward to a possible role as a fielder rather than just a designated hitter.

He played 52 games at DH with the Mariners last year, hitting 15 home runs and 33 RBIs.

Branyan played under current Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers while he was in San Diego and said he is looking forward to what the team could be in 2011.

“Once I took a look here, saw what is going on here, a lot of history with this coaching staff, a lot of good people here in this organization,” Branyan said.

“I had a lot of faith that this ball club was going to be moving in the right direction and I definitely wanted to be a part of it.”