{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Gibson keeping thriving relievers in same roles

Gibson keeping thriving relievers in same roles

|

BOSTON -- Former D-backs closer J.J. Putz has looked better of late, while Heath Bell has been outstanding since being moved out of the closer's role.

But with current closer Brad Ziegler pitching so well in the role, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson is hesitant to make any changes.

"He's been good and he's handled the pressure pretty good," Gibson said of Ziegler.

Since taking over the closer's role from Bell, who took it from Putz when Putz went on the disabled list, Ziegler is 5-for-5 in save opportunities and has allowed just one unearned run in his seven appearances.

Bell, meanwhile, blew his fifth save chance on July 10, and was removed from the closer's role. Since then, he has pitched nine innings over nine appearances and allowed five hits and no walks while striking out 12.

Putz did not immediately regain his closer's role when he came off the DL on June 29, because the team did not feel he had fully regained his arm speed.

Since that time, though, it has improved.

"The ball is coming out of his hand way better, definitely," Gibson said. "Split isn't real good right now, but his slider is. Good [velocity], and he's got a lot more life on his ball right now."

Gibson has long liked Ziegler more in a setup role because he is such a ground-ball pitcher that he is valuable coming into a game with runners on base and getting hitters to ground into double plays.

For now, though, it sounds like the manager is not prepared to disrupt a good thing.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español