Updated May 24, 2013 - 5:29 pm
Brad Ziegler wouldn't mind filling the closer role
"Why not," Ziegler responded when asked about the opportunity to earn a save. "But I have no problem with Heath (Bell) being there now. I have no problem with David (Hernandez) being there. I realize I'm probably fourth in line (to close) on this team."
The side-armer has had some opportunities to close earlier in his career, specifically late in his rookie season, when he recorded 11 saves with the Oakland Athletics. Ziegler lost the closer job the following season when he contracted the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus and was forced to spend time on the disabled list.
"While I was out, Andrew Bailey took over, became the American League Rookie of the Year, and I think I've had one save opportunity," Ziegler recalled.
Since being traded to the Diamondbacks in 2011, Ziegler has thrived in his new role -- seventh-inning setup man and stranding inherited runners. He has posted historical groundball rate numbers and a 2.35 ERA in 111 innings of work while donning Sedona Red.
This season, he has seen his already-lofty groundball rate soar to 78.3%, which is by far the best in the majors. Mets reliever Scott Rice is next-best with a 67.8% mark.
"'Groundball‘ is what I'm thinking, like, all the time," he said of his approach.
"I love coming with runners on base and trying to bail the guy out who was in there before you," the 33-year-old said of his current role. "I look at it like a puzzle. You know -- ‘how do I get out of this with the least amount of damage and keep our team in the game or keep a lead?'"
The former closer also added a clarification.
"Obviously, everybody likes to start with a clean inning. I have no problem starting an inning with no one on base. I prefer it that way."
Ziegler often gets that kind of inning now. He'd most always get that kind of inning as the team's closer.
- The Pulse: D-backs fans like the Trumbo trade
- Mark Trumbo trade looks like another admission of a previous mistake
- Mark Trumbo 'super excited' to stick in left field with the Arizona Diamondbacks
- Trumbo, Anderson dealt as winter meetings pick up
- Arizona Diamondbacks' GM Kevin Towers on why he traded Tyler Skaggs
- Mark Trumbo, Diamondbacks Outfielder - Wednesday December 11Mark Trumbo joins the show to discuss being traded to the Diamondbacks.
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday December 11Why did the D-backs add Mark Trumbo and will they make more moves?
- Keith Law, ESPN MLB Insider - Wednesday December 11Law explains why the D-backs trade for Mark Trumbo will not work.
- Ken Kendrick, Arizona Diamondbacks Owner - Friday November 22Kendrick joins the show to talk about the Diamondbacks' offseason plans.
- Bickley Blast - Thursday November 21Kirk Gibson says he thinks the Diamondbacks will win a World Series in Arizona.