Ziegler enjoying big jump in standings

Ziegler enjoying big jump in standings

Ziegler enjoying big jump in standings
SAN FRANCISCO -- For Brad Ziegler, paying attention to the trade rumors the last few weeks paid dividends.

When he learned Sunday that he had been dealt from the A's to the D-backs in exchange for pitcher Jordan Norberto and first baseman Brandon Allen, he was expecting the news.

"It didn't catch me completely off guard and I think that was a good thing," the 31-year-old right-hander said. "I was able to kind of mentally prepare for the possibility. Because of the rumors, I was able to read up on them a little bit."

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said that Ziegler will primarily be used in the seventh innings as a bridge to setup man David Hernandez and closer J.J. Putz.

While Ziegler didn't have far to go to join his new club -- the A's were at home at the time of the deal, while the D-backs opened a three-game set against the Giants on Monday in San Francisco -- he did make quite a trip in the standings.

"Going from 11 1/2 back to two back overnight is a pretty big jump," Ziegler said. "[San Francisco] is not a totally new place for me. If we had started out in Atlanta or Washington or someplace I'd never gone before, I think it'd be a little tougher."

Ziegler joked that the real adjustment would be to his new footwear. The A's are the lone team in Major League Baseball that wears white shoes.

"Honestly, the biggest change will probably just be wearing black cleats," he said with a smile. "Once I get used to looking down and seeing black instead of white than everything else will be the same after that."

Ziegler was 3-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 43 games for the A's this season and is 11-13 with a 2.49 ERA in 223 games over his four-year career. He has held righties to a .198 average this year and to a .224 mark over his career. Lefties, by contrast, have hit him at a .396 clip this year and .325 in his career.