Updated Mar 26, 2013 - 5:44 pm
D-backs' Wil Nieves will be ready when called upon
Nieves was named the backup on Monday after the D-backs released veteran Rod Barajas. The two had been competing for that job since the start of spring.
"I'm just blessed that the team is giving me the opportunity. You know I was competing with a great player, a great guy, a guy who's been in the big leagues for a long time and has a history here with the D-backs," said Nieves when asked about Barajas. "I just did my job and just hoping that this was going to happen and grateful and blessed that the team has given me the opportunity to be with Miggy this year."
The 35-year-old signed with the D-backs on Aug. 6 after being designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies five days earlier.
Nieves knows it's a tough task to backup a catcher that rarely takes a day off, but he's up to the challenge.
"I'm going to be ready for whenever they need me. I know Miggy likes to play a lot so just be ready and keep working. When I'm not playing, work with Sherls (bullpen coach Glen Sherlock) on blocking and throwing and just be ready whenever they give me the opportunity, so I can perform good," said Nieves. "I know Miggy likes to play but I'll be ready whenever they need me."
Nieves was called upon for 16 games in 2012 after joining Arizona, and he played in 32 games the entire season. In 83 at-bats he hit .301 with four walks, eight RBI and two home runs.
Most players don't like to sit on the bench and Nieves is no exception but he's also been competing for a starting spot his entire career. For most of his 18 year career, he's been trying to win that spot with every team he's played for, including the Padres, Angels, Yankees, Nationals, Braves, Brewers and Rockies.
"Obviously I love playing and I always tell Miggy, ‘You're a great person and a great player but you play too much.' I always joke with him like that," said Nieves on Tuesday. "I've always been in the role that at least day games, I catch those. We'll see maybe Miggy this year will want to rest a little bit more but if not, I'm just going to be ready whenever."
Hopefully Wil doesn't hold his breath. Miggy didn't play in 21 games out of 162 in 2012 and has played in 654 games in his career.
Kyndra de St. Aubin, Reporter - Arizona Sports 98.7
- Collmenter, D-backs down Padres, snap losing streak
- Dose of Venom: Collmenter dazzles in D-backs' win over Padres
- D-backs CEO Derrick Hall says Tony La Russa will teach, but will not manage
- Diamondbacks fall to Nationals 1-0 on walk-off error: By The Numbers
- Nationals win 9th in row, nip D-backs in 9th
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President & CEO - Thursday August 21Derrick Hall gives his thoughts on the new MLB commissioner.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday August 20Tim Kurkjian discusses the American League wild card race and the future of Kirk Gibson.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday August 20Kevin Towers talks about the future of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 19Kirk Gibson talks about his future with the Diamondbacks.
- Who impressed/who depressed - Monday August 18Dan and Vince look back at who impressed and depressed them over the weekend.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Friday August 15Tim Kurkjian discusses what new commissioner Rob Manfred means for Major League Baseball.
- What's on your mind? - Friday August 15Vince Marotta shares what he is thinking about this week.