Chat with Oakland A's Brad Ziegler
Ziegler stormed on to the MLB scene last year, when he set the record for most scoreless innings to start a career with 39. For the season, while making 47 appearances, he gave up seven earned runs in 59 2/3 innings. He finished eighth in the rookie of the year voting.
Ziegler began his minor league career after being drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2003 draft. Before the start of the 2007 season, he converted to a sidearm/submarine delivery. He earned his first call-up in May 2008.
Send in your questions now, then join Ziegler at 4:30 p.m. ET Friday!
Brad Ziegler (4:28 PM)
Hey everyone, thanks showing up on the chat. Looking forward to the questions and getting to know my fan base!
Andrew (Santa Monica, CA)
How did you convince yourself to get back out on the mound after getting hit in the head not once but twice?
Brad Ziegler (4:30 PM)
The mental aspect of it was something that I never dealt with. I was really anxious to get back on the mound. But it was something I never really struggled with. I prayed a lot about it and asked for the courage and strength to get around it and go back to doing what I was doing before the injury.
Brad, I've often wondered... how hard was it for you to change your pitching style to throwing side-armed?
Brad Ziegler (4:32 PM)
Very difficult, both mentally and physically. And it is something I am still working on. I am still learning things as far as where my body needs to be on certain pitches and where my location needs to be. So it is still a work in progress and I am thankful to have a such a great defense behind me when guys make contact.
JD (NYK )
Do you like cats ?
Brad Ziegler (4:33 PM)
As long as they like me.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
How excited are you about the acquisitions the team made on offense, but on the other side how worried are you about the younf rotation?
Brad Ziegler (4:35 PM)
The whole team is excited about the acquisitions and not just from the on the field perspective. These have been great clubhouse additions, and we all look forward to going to the clubhouse every single day. I am not concerned about the rotation, and most of the team has seen the amount of talent they have. The talent is there and it is a matter of getting the experience along the way. They just need to have confidence in themselves and they will be just fine.
Matt (Springfield, MO)
I met you at Fastbreak Sports in Springfield this past winter. Still cornering the market on your own RC's?
Brad Ziegler (4:36 PM)
I am doing my best but there are a select few fans who are making it very difficult on me!
jared (mlb darkness) [via mobile]
Brad- I am watching rudy right now. What is your favorite sports movie of all time ?
Brad Ziegler (4:40 PM)
For the Love of the Game. It is a great movie to watch if you are a baseball fan because it is fairly realistic and the lingo is pretty accurate as far as terms used from a baseball perspective. And the story outside of the baseball narrative is pretty good too. And a close second is Remember the Titans.
what was it like to accomplish having 38 stragith scorless innings
Brad Ziegler (4:42 PM)
It still feels pretty surreal. It happened so fast and I did not feel like I was doing anything extraordinary, because I was not striking out two guys per inning or anything like that and my defense was making great plays behind me. It is a lot more satisfying looking back on it now than when it was happening, because when it was happening it went by so fast.
Brenda (Middlebury, IN)
How did it feel to play on Team USA? What do you look forward to this season?
Brad Ziegler (4:44 PM)
Playing in the WBC and representing my country was the best baseball experience of my life. I have gotten to experience a lot of great things in baseball but that was head and shoulders above anything else. The guys in the clubhouse were amazing and we developed great friendships. Every guy in that clubhouse was awesome. As far as this season, I am looking forward to the first game and getting things underway. There is a lot of excitement and expectations we have placed on ourselves. We are ready to get this train rolling and get the regular season underway.
Are you the full-time closer now, cutie?
Brad Ziegler (4:47 PM)
I am blushing as I read this. But that is the impression I have gotten from the coaching staff, that I am going to get the majority of the closing chances; hopefully Joey will be back soon and will get good news from Dr. Andrews. But if not, other guys can step up and fill the vacancy his injury leaves us with.
Mike (Minneapolis, MN)
It's thought that sidearmers have a harder time than other pitchers going through the league the second time through once batters have seen their delivery. Is that true? If so, how do you adjust?
Brad Ziegler (4:49 PM)
In my opinion, every pitcher is going to have a harder time the second of third time they face a team. After one start you have seen everything that pitcher has to offer. And baseball is a game of constant adjustments. I feel with the defense behind me, as long as I go out there and execute my pitches and I am smart in how I pitch then it is very possible to be successful. There are plenty of sidearmers who have been in the league a long time and have had success year after year and some get better as the years go on.
Kim (Atlanta, GA)
Hey Brad! Do you currently play with any of the guys you played with when you were in the Cape Cod baseball league?
Brad Ziegler (4:51 PM)
Not currently on my team. We have a guy in the minors, Danny Putnam, who was in Cape Cod my second year, but not on my team. As far as I know, every other guy I met on the Cape are on other teams.
Greg (Odessa, Missouri)
I know it's been a long time, but if you were playing in a National League park, how comfortable do you think you'd feel with a bat in your hands?
Brad Ziegler (4:53 PM)
It would take me a little time to get the swing back. But I was a decent hitter in High School, and I think I would be a little better than an automatic out. And if required, I think I would do a good job bunting.
Caron (Lubbock, TX)
Besides the stadium in Oakland, what is your favorite stadium to play in?
Brad Ziegler (4:54 PM)
Detroit :). It is a great atmosphere. They have great fans and there is history with all the statues of the old timers. I also love the ivy. There is something about that park that makes it feel that it has everything a ballplayer would want in a stadium.
Lisa (Odessa, MO)
Do the A's need a new stadium?
Brad Ziegler (4:56 PM)
Yes. But it is not that this stadium cannot be a good stadium; it is the fact that we have to share it with a football team and they tear up the field. And when that happens in September, during a critical stretch of the season, it makes it tough during those games that really matter.
David Irving, TX
Interesting that a lot of questions are coming in nationally. Just goes to show how bright your star is shining. Anyway, boxers or briefs?
Brad Ziegler (4:57 PM)
Thanks for the comment, but I plead the fifth on the question.
Brad Ziegler (4:58 PM)
Thanks to everyone for sending in the questions. I had a lot of fun I and I hope to do it the near future! Enjoy the season!
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