He’s back! The Diamondbacks have once again picked up Brad Ziegler on the day of the MLB Trade Deadline. The Diamondbacks sent AA reliever Tommy Eveld to the Miami Marlins to pick up the former Diamondback. Ziegler previously pitched the equivalent of 5 full seasons (2011-2016) with the Diamondbacks after being picked up at the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline 7 years ago. In that time period he pitched to a 2.49 ERA and a 218/105 K/BB in 335 2⁄3 innings with the Diamondbacks, which also earned him a spot on the team’s 20th Anniversary Team to which he is suddenly able to attend the ceremony now.
Ziegler started the 2018 season rough after a disappointing 2017 season with the Marlins, but has rebounded lately to post a 22/11 K/BB ratio and an obscene 80.3% GB rate since June 1st. The GB rate is not going to sustain as much post-trade, but we know all about Ziegler’s extreme ground ball tendencies as he averaged close to 70% in Arizona. In his time in Arizona, Ziegler pitched as a fireman, closer, setup guy, and middle reliever while performing well in all those duties. With the Diamondbacks strong infield defense, especially up the middle, Ziegler should benefit from the ground ball contact he allows. He’s also a regression candidate simply due to a likely unsustainable ground ball rate, but he’s made a career of beating his peripherals by using his extreme ground ball rate to generate double play balls and erase baserunners that way. Since being traded to Arizona, no reliever has induced more double plays than Ziegler.
Going to Miami is reliever Tommy Eveld. Eveld was a 9th round pick in the 2016 draft and has pitched mostly as a closer in the Diamondbacks system. His career numbers in the minors are very solid with a 1.96 ERA and .187 opponent batting average against, converting 31 of 35 save opportunities. This season, he’s pitched to a 1.11 ERA, .203 Opp. Avg., and a 47/8 K/BB ratio in 40 2⁄3 innings between Class A-Advanced Visalia and AA Jackson. The strong control numbers and high strikeout rate made him a fringe prospect despite being old for his level although it’s not his fault. The team has better reliever prospects ahead of him on the depth chart, which likely delayed his promotion to AA this year and possibly why the organization felt like they can move him to improve the MLB bullpen.
With the MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline quickly approaching, it looks like GM Mike Hazen is doing everything he can to improve the roster with the Dbacks half a game out of first place and only -1 in the loss column to the first place Dodgers. They are reportedly not done trying to add arms to the bullpen with their top 3 relievers (Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley, Brad Boxberger) showing signs of wear after heavy usage in the first half of the season. With the team likely set from a position player standpoint and the team rightly unwilling to part with the assets required to acquire a starter, the best marginal additions will likely come from the bullpen. Stay tuned in case another team goes through in the next 2 hours.
As a corresponding 40-man roster move, the Diamondbacks have transferred Shelby Miller from the 10-Day to the 60-Day DL. Miller’s season and time in a Diamondbacks uniform is likely over, whether or not his elbow requires Tommy John surgery.