Ziegler announced the news via Twitter on his 39th birthday
Veteran relief pitcher Brad Ziegler, who had two stints with the Diamondbacks, announced his retirement from baseball on Wednesday.
Ziegler, who announced the news via Twitter on his 39th birthday, pitched parts of seven seasons with the Diamondbacks and compiled a 22-12 record to go along with a 2.57 ERA and 62 saves.
Ziegler was named to the club’s 20th anniversary team this season before being acquired by the Diamondbacks at this year’s trade deadline. He went 1-1 with a 3.74 ERA in 29 games in Arizona this season.
“The daily grind has taken a toll on my body,” Ziegler wrote in the message. “There were really tough times in the past two seasons where I wondered if I could physically continue doing what it would take to stay on the field, and if I could even continue to perform at the level I had.
“And I can thank the Dbacks for giving me a chance to pitch in exciting, meaningful games down the stretch and prove myself that I wasn’t going to be pushed out of the game because I couldn’t compete anymore — I’m walking away knowing I still can.”
In his message on Twitter, Ziegler mentioned his division titles with the Diamondbacks (2011) and Boston Red Sox (2013) as some of the highlights of his career. A midseason acquisition by the Diamondbacks in that 2011 season, Ziegler posted a 1.74 ERA in 23 games down the stretch.
“Playoff baseball is incredible,” Ziegler wrote.
Ziegler went on to muse on his humble beginnings in the professional ranks, including being released from his first spring training before ultimately beginning his career with the Oakland Athletics.
“I literally felt at that moment that my pro career was only a year or two away from ending, knowing that ‘those guys’ rarely get called up and typically are just used as roster-fillers in the minors,” Ziegler wrote. “Two years later, my dream finally became a reality — but I knew my stay could be temporary.
“So, my biggest goal was to enjoy every minute of it and try to make it a difficult decision for them to send me down when that time came. Ten years later, I feel fortunate to be able to walk away from the game on my terms, having never been sent back to the minors.”
Ziegler began his MLB career with 39 consecutive scoreless innings, something Ziegler mentioned in his message, and finished with a 2.75 ERA in 265 relief outings and 105 saves.
Richard Morin covers the Coyotes and Diamondbacks for azcentral sports. He can be reached at [email protected] and by phone at 480-316-2493. Follow him on Twitter @ramorin_azc.