D-backs’ Brad Ziegler: ‘We feel like we are the best bullpen in baseball’
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers focused a lot of his attention this offseason on crafting one of major league baseball’s elite bullpens.
Towers added veteran Heath Bell, Tony Sipp and Matt Reynolds to a cast that already includes closer J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, Josh Collmenter and ground ball specialist Brad Ziegler.
Ziegler assumed a pivotal role in the D-backs bullpen late in games last season. The right-hander posted a 6-1 record with a 2.49 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 17 holds and 42 strikeouts in 68.2 IP.
The 33-year-old reliever thinks the D-backs bullpen could indeed prove to be the game’s best.
“On paper sky’s the limit,” Ziegler told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns & Gambo Friday. “I don’t think there’s any question we feel like we are the best bullpen in baseball and now it’s just a matter of going out and proving it.”
The importance of building a standout bullpen is crucial when constructing a winning ball club, and Ziegler is confident the D-backs’ relievers ability to close out games consistently will help them contend in a deep NL West.
“I think it’s a huge point,” Ziegler said. “Having starters that can go deep into games, keep us in games is huge. Then we have guys that are not going to give up leads that helps give the whole team confidence.”
Ziegler knows despite the strength of the bullpen on paper, it’s up to the players to go out on a nightly basis and prove they are worthy of the offseason accolades bestowed upon them.
“No one’s going to hand it to us late in the game. We got to go out and execute pitches and go out and do the little things,” Ziegler said. “You’ve got to focus every single pitch, get your one inning in there, get out of the game and let the guys after you take care of the business.”