Arizona Diamondbacks’ manager Hale: Brad Ziegler the No. 1 guy at closer

May 19, 2015, 2:48 PM | Updated: 2:48 pm
LISTEN: Chip Hale, D-backs manager

The Arizona Diamondbacks have had all of one save opportunity since removing Addison Reed from the role of closer.

It came Monday night in Miami, as the D-backs turned to Enrique Burgos to finish off a 3-2 victory.

Given that the game went 13 innings, though, it would be inaccurate to assume the 24-year-old is the guy D-backs manager Chip Hale will now turn to in order to lock down wins.

Hale said so himself.

“I would say the number one guy right now for us to close a game is (Brad) Ziegler,” he told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday.

Burgos did a nice job Monday night, needing 15 pitches to record three outs — with two of them coming via strikeout.

He also has closing experience, having done so in the minor leagues, and on the season, the right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA.

But Ziegler, who has a 1.04 ERA in 17.1 innings this season, also makes sense.

The 35-year-old has 33 career saves, with a high of 13 in the 2013 campaign.

The only downside to saving Ziegler for the ninth would be losing a lead in the innings before it, which is where the submarine-style right-hander has traditionally been deployed out of Arizona’s bullpen.

Hale, though, said they’ll turn to Ziegler whenever it makes sense.

“If we need him in the sixth, seventh or eighth to get a groundball and get a double play, that’s when we want to use him,” Hale said. “So he knows his role.

“If we get to the ninth and we haven’t used him, we feel very comfortable if the matchups are good for him. He has a lot of history in the league so we can look at the matchups and who’s coming up and their type of swings, and we trust him. He’s had some experience.”

The skipper added that the hope is for Ziegler to be little more than a stop-gap solution for what has been a troublesome position for the team this season.

“In the long run, is Addison going to be our closer? Hopefully. Is Burgos going to be the closer? He has an opportunity to be with his stuff, but the experience is not there yet. He’s getting it. We’re putting him in some tough situations, so he has an opportunity,” Hale said. “There’s plenty of guys. Hey, we’ve got some arms in the minor leagues that are coming, so this bullpen — there’s going to be a lot of competition to stay here.”

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