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The article is translated from Path of the Pros: Brad Ziegler

Released prospect becomes Major League record holder

By Brittany Ghiroli / Special to MLB.com
01/27/2010 10:00 AM ET

 

For a 20th-round Draft pick who, at 23, was already on the elder end of the prospect spectrum, reaching the Major Leagues was a far-reaching dream.

對於一個23歲在第20輪被選中的人,已屬於新秀當中年紀較長者,升上大聯盟也是個難以到達的夢想

Toss in getting served release papers six innings into his professional career, a stint in independent baseball and two skulls fractures -- one that very easily could have ended his life, let alone his days as a pitcher -- and you'll still have only part of the story of Brad Ziegler's evolution into of the game's best submarine-style relievers.

職業生涯投了六局便遭到釋出,在獨立聯盟打球,以及兩次頭骨破裂--其中有一次可輕易地結束他的生命,留下他身為投手的日子 --你仍然可以擁有Brad Ziegler進化成球賽最佳潛水艇式 (submarine-style,低肩側投)中繼投手故事的一部分

"I'm a big believer that things happen for a reason," Ziegler said. "And I don't always understand them until later."

“我深信事出必有因” Ziegler說 “我總是晚一點才了解到”

In a span of five seasons, the former Phillies castaway joined the A's and became a Major League record holder with a pair of spikes enshrined at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Ziegler's feat is even more impressive considering the leap of faith he took toward the end of the 2006 season, switching from overhand throwing to submarine style.

五年的時間,遭到捨棄的前費城人隊球員加入運動家隊 (譯註: ‘03在費城人農場,’08升上A’s),並成為了大聯盟紀錄保持者,一雙球鞋被收藏於古柏鎮的棒球名人堂。Ziegler更令人印象深刻的事蹟是他在2006年球季結束後,在信念方面的急速轉變,從上肩投法轉成潛水艇式

Although Ziegler wasn't immediately sold on the idea when then-Minor League instructor Ron Romanick -- now Oakland's bullpen coach -- initially approached him, the increased odds of reaching the Major Leagues were enough to persuade Ziegler to give it a shot.

雖然Zielger並沒有立刻被當時的小聯盟指導員Ron Romanick -- 現任奧克蘭牛棚教練 (譯註: Romanick 於2011年擔任A’s投手教練)首度接觸時所提出的念頭說服,而能增加上到大聯盟的可能性則足以說服Ziegler嘗試看看

"[The A's] were willing to take the time to teach [me] this in Arizona," Ziegler recalled. "That, to me, felt like the first real investment they had made in me after three seasons. So I decided I was not going to let my stubbornness get in the way."

“運動家隊願意花時間在亞利桑納指導我” Ziegler回想起 “對我來說,那就像是三個球季以來,他們首度實際在我身上投資。所以我決定別讓我的固執擋路”

Romanick, who'd been a Major League pitcher for three seasons, had converted several players to submarine-style while serving as a pitching instructor in Seattle. Ziegler's long and lanky build, coupled with the above-average defensive skills necessary for such a ground-ball inducing motion, made the 26-year-old a prime candidate to make the switch.

擔任過三年大聯盟投手的Romanick,在西雅圖擔任投手指導員時曾將多位選手轉為低肩的潛水艇式。Ziegler瘦長的體型,搭配滾地球投手所需要的平均以上的防守技巧,讓26歲的他成為做出 (投球方式)轉變的人選

"He wanted to make it [to the Majors]," Romanick said of Ziegler. "He has a fire in his belly which you have to have to make it in any sport ... that was the sell of [making the switch]. We were embarking on an approach that allowed his gifts to come to this level."

“他想要成功上到大聯盟” Romanick談到Ziegler “他充滿活力,那是你想在任何位置成功所需要的,”那也說服他做出轉換。我們開始採取方法讓他的天賦得以達到此層級”

Despite a respectable season at Double-A Midland, in which he posted the second-lowest ERA in the Texas League, Ziegler headed to Arizona at the end of the year to start his tutelage with Romanick.

雖然在AA Midland有著相當不錯的球季,繳出德州聯盟第二低的ERA,Ziegler在球季結束後前往亞利桑納開始接受Romanick的指導

The mechanical overhaul was hardly glamorous. In addition to core and back work to avoid injuries associated with his new arm slot, Ziegler spent three weeks laboriously mimicking his new throwing motion without a baseball. He worked with Romanick for two or three hours daily, studied photographs and watched video to help foster a better mental image of his motion.

大修投球機制一事一點也不迷人。除了在核心肌群以及背部所下的相關功課,以避免新出手點可能帶來的傷勢外,Ziegler花了三個禮拜,在沒拿球的情況下辛勤地模擬他新的投球動作。他每天花兩到三小時與Romanick訓練,研究照片觀看錄影帶來協助培養關於他動作更深的印象

Ziegler laughs when imagining what thoughts may have crossed the minds of some of the prospects in attendance during that instructional league.

Ziegler笑著想到參加指導聯盟的新秀們會在腦中閃過什麼念頭

"I'd show up at 9 or 10 a.m. and there would be all these young Draft picks, and here I am 27 [years old] just going through the motions of a delivery by myself in the outfield," he recalled. "To me, guys had to just look at it and [think], 'What in the world is this guy doing? How can this be productive to a guy that's 27 years old?' They probably thought I was trying to grab on to one last chance."

“我在早上九點十點時出現,那裡都是選秀會上的年輕新秀,而27歲的我只是自己在外野練投球動作” 他回想起 “對我而言,人們只是看著並想著’這個人在幹麻? 這對一個27歲的人有效嗎?’他們可能想著我正嘗試抓住最後一次機會”

In Ziegler's mind, it was a far different story.

在Ziegler的心中,那是段相當不同的故事

"I felt like it was just something to take me to the next level," he said of adopting the submarine style, which also called for him to trade in his starting duties and learn how to warm up as a reliever.

“我感覺像是某樣東西將我帶領到下一個階段” 他談到接受潛水艇姿勢,也需要他換掉先發任務,並學習如何像後援投手般熱身

Growing pains aside, Ziegler and Romanick couldn't have predicted just how quickly the new motion would catch on. In his first rollout as a reliever, Ziegler dominated in Double-A, pitching to a 4-0 record with a 1.14 ERA in 15 appearances.

走過成長所需經歷的苦楚,Ziegler和Romanick無法預測新的姿勢能讓人多快知道結果。在他首度擔任中繼投手時,Ziegler在AA顯現出主宰性,15場出賽投出了4勝0敗,自責分率1.14

He was quickly promoted to Triple-A Sacramento, where manager Tony DeFrancesco would routinely watch from the dugout as Ziegler's sinkerball kept opposing hitters tied in knots.

他很快地被升上AAA沙加緬度,AAA總教練Tony DeFrancesco經常從休息區看著Ziegler的伸卡球讓對方打者陷入麻煩

"He was pretty much unhittable at that level," DeFrancesco said. "He worked hard on his delivery and movement."

“他在那個層級真的是很難被擊中 (譯註: 意指所投的球)” DeFrancesco說 “他在出手以及球的軌跡方面下了苦心”

Still in the infancy of his new motion, Ziegler was constantly tweaking arm angles, and he developed a change-up in Sacramento that helped keep left-handed hitters off balance. He discovered the best way to drop and add velocity to his fastball, and as his comfort level improved, so did Ziegler's command.

新姿勢的初期,Ziegler常扭轉他手臂的角度,並於AAA沙加緬度發展出使左打者失去平衡用的變速球。他發現讓球下墜的最佳方式,並在他的快速球上增加速度,Ziegler的控球亦隨著舒適程度增加

"With Brad, as he worked through this stuff to figure out this approach, [the mind-set] was, don't change or go back to what you know," Romanick said. "Instead, fight through this and ingrain this. And because of his attitude and his makeup, he's been able to do that.

“跟著Brad時,他隨著本身的stuff找出這個方法,心態並未改變或回到你了解的狀態” Romanick說 “ (他)反而與之對抗,並深深烙印於腦中。也因他的態度與性格才能做到這些”

"He never looks at being passed over in a negative way. He just tries harder and stays patient and is absolutely relentless."

“他從未看起來以消極的方式轉變。他只是試圖更努力、保有耐心以及呈現絕對地堅持”

That patience was tested when Ziegler didn't break camp with the A's in 2008, despite being told by one club official that he would have been called up in '07 if the team had been contending for a playoff spot. With a July 1 opt-out clause as his deadline for making it in Oakland, Ziegler allowed just one earned run in 19 Triple-A games to start the season.

當Ziegler並未通過A’s 08年春訓時正考驗著他的耐心,雖然在07年也曾被球隊官方告知如果球隊有機會打進季後賽的話,會把他升上大聯盟。七月一日是他可以對奧克蘭行使逃脫條款的期限,Ziegler在這年19場3A賽事中,僅有一分自責分。

With his frustration mounting, Ziegler remembers calling home and telling his father he intended to sign with another team as soon as the calendar flipped to July.

隨著他的挫折感上升,Ziegler回憶起當時打電話回家,並告訴他父親他想在日曆一翻到七月時就跟別隊簽約

Fortunately for Oakland, Ziegler never got his fresh start. He got called up the next day and went on to hurl 39 1/3 consecutive scoreless relief innings, a Major League record for a player beginning his career.

奧克蘭相當幸運,Ziegler從未獲得他嶄新的開始。他在隔天被叫上大聯盟,並在連續39 1/3局中繼未失分,對於一個剛開始大聯盟生涯的選手來說是項大聯盟紀錄

While Ziegler downplays the record, modestly giving credit to his defense, Romanick is quick to point out that Ziegler's body of work is extraordinary.

當Ziegler低調達成紀錄,謙虛地歸功於他 (身後)的防守時,Romanick很快地指出Ziegler在身體方面下的功夫是相當驚人的

"You are climbing a mountain," Romanick said of the work involved in switching to submarine-style pitching ."For every Brad Ziegler, there's a couple more guys [learning submarine style] who don't make it.

“你正在爬著高山” Romanick提及有關於轉換成潛水艇式投法的功課 “對於每個Brad Ziegler來說,有更多學習潛水艇式投法的人沒有成功”

"I'd love to have more like Ziegy; he's got the whole package."

“我喜愛有更多像是Ziegy的球員,他有相當不錯的整體表現”

 

Minor League career breakdown

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2003: After signing with Philadelphia, Ziegler struggled with tendinitis and following just six innings with Batavia was released at the end of the season. "I was frustrated," Ziegler said. "It just felt like I hadn't been given a chance."

2003: 與費城簽約後,Ziegler受肌腱炎影響只在Batavia投了六局就球季結束後遭到釋出。”我相當受挫” Zieger說 “那就像是我沒機會了”

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2004: While pitching in the independent league, the right-hander was signed to a Minor League deal by Oakland, where Ziegler was assigned to Class A Advanced Modesto.

2004: 當他在獨立聯盟投球時,這位右手球員被奧克蘭簽下小聯盟約,Ziegler被送往高階1A Modesto

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2005: Ziegler split the season between the A's new Class A Advanced affiliate in Stockton and Double-A Midland.

2005: Ziegler這年球季分別在A’s新的高階1A隊伍Stockton,以及2A Midland出賽

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2006: Despite posting a 3.37 ERA for the 'Hounds, Ziegler agreed to overhaul his pitching motion to submarine style.

2006: 即使在2A RockHounds繳出3.37 ERA的成績,Ziegler同意大修他的投法,轉成潛水艇式

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2007: Ziegler's new motion helped the River Cats to a Pacific Coast League championship. In 35 games, he went 8-3 with a 2.96 ERA.

2007: Ziegler新的姿勢協助河貓奪下太平洋岸聯盟冠軍。35場出賽當中,他的成績是8-3 2.96 ERA

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2008: After allowing just one earned run in 19 appearances, Ziegler made his Major League debut in relief on May 31.

2008: 19次出賽只丟一分自責分後,Ziegler於5月31日以後援身分在大聯盟初登板


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Never give up! Brad Ziegler

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