D-backs P Stefan Crichton looking to remain advantageous of opportunities

Feb 23, 2021, 6:55 AM

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks head into spring training with an open competition for the closer role.

Typically, that’s how the team operates every year.

This season is a bit different, though, as former closer Archie Bradley is no longer on the team following a 2020 trade.

That leaves pitchers Stefan Crichton and newcomer Joakim Soria as the likely candidates for the role.

Taking over as closer after Bradley’s departure, Crichton showed he could be trusted on the mound in late-game situations, recording fives saves over his final six appearances.

He’s looking to build off his strong finish in whatever capacity the team sees fit.

“I don’t think that I’ve done enough and I think to be the closer that’s something you’ve got to earn,” Crichton told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Monday. “Obviously, I want to [close], but I’m not going to cry about it if I don’t. I have a job to do regardless of what situation I’m going in there for.”

It’s been quite the journey for Crichton, who originally got his start with the Baltimore Orioles in 2017. The pitcher managed to make eight relief appearances that season before a right-shoulder strain forced him on the injured list. He would eventually be traded to the D-backs in 2018, but suffered tendinitis in his right shoulder and underwent surgery after just 14 games with the Triple-A Reno Aces.

Crichton would make 28 appearances in 2019 for the D-backs, shuttling back-and-forth from the Aces, before seeing 26 games last year.

He enters the new season in a prime spot to continue his trajectory as an MLB pitcher.

“A lot of it is just learning as you go. Early in my career it was a lot about understanding the big leagues and what it takes, and then it’s just a matter of kinda taking advantage of some of those opportunities, which thankfully I’ve gotten with the Diamondbacks,” Crichton said. “I’d like to continue to take advantage of those opportunities wherever I can find them.”

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