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Game #82 Preview: 7/5, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies

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We previously discussed how Brad Ziegler has been brilliant for the D-backs this season. But might he have an outside shot at an All-Star spot?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Jorge De La Rosa
LHP, 5-3, 4.59
Rubby De La Rosa
RHP, 6-3, 4.60
Charlie Blackmon - CF Nick Ahmed - SS
DJ LeMahieu - 2B A.J. Pollock - CF
Troy Tulowitzki - SS Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Carlos Gonzalez - RF Yasmany Tomas - RF
Mike McKenry - C Welington Castillo - C
Ben Paulsen - 1B Aaron Hill - 3B
Brandon Barnes - LF David Peralta - LF
Daniel Descalso - 3B Chris Owings - 2B
Jorge De La Rosa - LHP Rubby De La Rosa - RHP

Probably the main block between Ziegler and an All-Star spot is, unfortunately, his lack of saves, since All-Star bullpens tend to be dominated by closers He didn't take over that job for Arizona from Addison Reed until mid-May, Z picking up his first save in our 40th game of the season. Not that Reed exactly had all that many to start with, but it still left Brad with a hefty deficit. There are 13 pitchers in the National League who currently have more saves than Reed, though you'd be hard pushed to say all of them have pitched better. For example, Craig Kimbrel may have 21 saves, but his ERA+ is 112, trailing far behind Ziegler's 320.

Indeed, if you look at the 15 closers in the league, Ziegler's stats stack up very well: the only one whose ERA (or ERA+) is undeniably better, is Trevor Rosenthal of the Cardinals, who has 24 saves and an 0.70 ERA. But beyond that, it gets a lot murkier. Here are the full stats for all those with more than five saves in the National League so far - which, from what I can see, appears to work out nicely at one player from each team. They're sorted by ERA+

Rk Player SV Tm W L IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Trevor Rosenthal 24 STL 1 1 38.1 27 3 3 13 42 0.70 546 .197 .267 .241 .508
2 A.J. Ramos 13 MIA 0 1 37.2 18 5 5 10 46 1.19 322 .142 .209 .205 .413
3 Jeurys Familia 22 NYM 2 0 38.2 23 5 5 12 40 1.16 321 .172 .238 .261 .499
4 Brad Ziegler 12 ARI 0 1 36.0 21 6 5 10 19 1.25 320 .171 .233 .268 .501
5 Francisco Rodriguez 18 MIL 0 2 31.0 18 5 5 9 36 1.45 271 .168 .231 .262 .492
6 Mark Melancon 26 PIT 1 1 39.0 31 8 7 8 27 1.62 233 .217 .258 .280 .538
7 Jonathan Papelbon 14 PHI 1 1 31.2 26 8 6 7 34 1.71 228 .218 .279 .336 .615
8 Aroldis Chapman 16 CIN 3 3 34.1 23 7 7 19 60 1.83 212 .184 .297 .232 .529
9 Kenley Jansen 13 LAD 2 1 18.2 10 4 4 1 32 1.93 196 .156 .164 .313 .477
10 John Axford 13 COL 1 1 22.2 17 7 6 10 21 2.38 190 .205 .284 .265 .549
11 Drew Storen 24 WSN 1 0 31.0 24 7 7 6 36 2.03 188 .214 .264 .259 .523
12 Hector Rondon 12 CHC 3 1 34.1 27 9 8 8 29 2.10 182 .216 .263 .328 .591
13 Jason Grilli 22 ATL 3 3 30.2 27 12 10 10 39 2.93 130 .227 .285 .370 .654
14 Santiago Casilla 20 SFG 4 2 29.2 28 11 10 12 30 3.03 118 .250 .331 .411 .741
15 Craig Kimbrel 21 SDP 1 2 31.0 26 12 11 14 44 3.19 112 .228 .313 .368 .681

If you are going to pick half a dozen from that list, you could certainly make a case that excluding Ziegler would be unjustly overlooking him. He's ranked fourth by ERA and ERA+, and fifth by OPS against. But I'm not sure if that is going to be enough: fingers crossed for Ziggy. We'll find out tomorrow: the starting position players will be announced later today, kicking off at 4:30pm Arizona time, and then the pitchers and reserves tomorrow, that show beginning at 4pm Monday.