One of the main culprits behind the 1-6 start of the Arizona Diamondbacks has been the performance of their bullpen. Out of all the members of the relief corps the most disturbing member has been Brad Ziegler. The submariner has been touched up in three of his four appearances in 2014, a stunning reversal for one of the more dependable relievers in baseball over the last five years.
Maybe I was the one who jinxed him. I remember being on Twitter during the meltdown of that first game against the San Francisco Giants. Ziggy came into the game at 7-6 with the bases loaded and two outs. I tweeted, “All is well, here comes Ziggy” or something to that effect. No sooner did my fingers stopped typing than he allowed a hit and a walk as the Giants tied the game which they later won on Buster Posey‘s two-run homer. Friday’s game vs. the Colorado Rockies was even worse. Ziegler surrendered two runs on three three hits, walking one and hitting a batter. Normally solid with his control, Ziggy’s three walks and one hit batter in 2 2/3 innings is alarming. If you were to rank the D’backs’ bullpen as to who you would be the least concerned with, you would choose Ziegler ten out of ten times. His struggles mirror that of the entire team and are creating some uneasiness in the ‘pen.
If the Snakes are to quickly pull out of this tailspin, Brad Ziegler will have to resume his role as lockdown setup man. I know there is a tendency for even the best middle relievers to experience a rough season. Last year, it was David Hernandez. Let’s hope the same misfortune does not strike Ziggy in 2014.