It’s been said that your two best days as a Brad Ziegler owner are when you draft him and when you drop him. Back in March, you had every right to feel proud of yourself for adding a few cheap saves when you picked up Ziegler in some late round. Today, it’s time to say goodbye.
Ziegler took another ugly loss on Wednesday, his fifth of the season. He entered in the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead at San Diego, but allowed two hits, two walks (one intentional) and two runs. Ziegler has given up nine runs over his last five appearances. We’re two months into the season and his ratios are ghastly (7.83 ERA, 1.74 WHIP).
It sounds as if Marlins manager Don Mattingly can take no more. He openly discussed replacement plans for Ziegler in postgame comments, suggesting that Kyle Barraclough could get the next save chance. Drew Steckenrider is a possibility as well, although Barraclough has been lights-out so far this year (1.48 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 9.99 K/9). Both relievers worked scoreless innings on Wednesday, with Barraclough taking the eighth.
These were a few of Mattingly’s postgame thoughts, via MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro:
“Claw’s an option. Steck’s an option,” Mattingly said. “Tayron [Guerrero], for a while, was looking like an option and could be one of the guys at least in the back end. We’ve struggled there. You still have got to get there, somehow, someway. It’s like shuffling your lineup. You can do things differently.”
Barraclough has allowed just one run and two hits in 11.2 innings this month. He’s been the most effective arm in Miami’s bullpen by far, and he’s unattached in 75 percent of Yahoo leagues. Go get him, save chasers.