d-20s allowed Ziegler to thrive against the best players in the world for more than a decade."On Wednesday http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey , his 39th birthday, former Marlins right-hander BradZiegler announced his retirement from baseball. The note posted to Ziegler’s Twitter account reflects on the adversity he faced early on. A 20th-round draft pick of the Phillies in 2003, he was released after just six innings of game action. The journey to his eventual major league debut in 2008 involved a stint in the independent leagues, surviving a skull fracture and completely reinventing his delivery to compensate for a lack of fastball velocity.@BradZiegler/TwitterZiegler led the league in relief appearances this past season, so he could surely secure a contract for 2019 if interested. This paragraph explains why he has decided to hang up his cleats:At times, Ziegler was unpopular among Marlins fans. Previous ownership gave him a two-year, $16 million deal and (irresponsibly) advertised him as a key component to the “super bullpen” that would make Miami a postseason contender. He endured significant slumps early in the 2017 and 2018 seasons while battling through injury. At least they got Tommy Eveld out of it!However, don’t let your perception of Ziegler get distorted by his most vulnerable moments: he belongs on the Mount Rushmore of MLB ground ball specialists.Not only did he go out on top......Few other relievers have ever matched his combination of durability and run prevention.In the goodbye letter, Ziegler takes pride in topping 100 career saves (a milestone he reached with the Marlins), but that severely downplays his production. Of the 13 other relievers with 700-plus innings and an earned run average at least 40 percent better than league average (140 ERA+) Larry Doby Jersey , all except MarkEichhorn were put in position to finish games on a regular basis. This guy was elite, regardless of which inning(s) he was assigned to work.Ziegler maintained an unusual disparity between his earned run average (2.75) and Fielder Independent Pitching (3.50). Especially out of the bullpen, we’re accustomed to seeing pitchers rely on strikeouts to escape jams, but he was below average in that regard (16.3 K% from 2008-2018 compared to MLB-wide 19.8 K%).Instead, Ziegler found consistent success by inducing weak contact, moving his pitches in such a way that they couldn’t be squared up or elevated. During each of his major league seasons, according to Quality of Pitch calculations, he ranked in the 100th percentile in terms of late break. Opponents simply couldn’t get their bats underneath it.Since 2008, here are the most valuable fastballs among qualified MLB relievers:Kenley Jansen, 136.8 runs above averageAroldis Chapman Bob Feller Jersey , 89.0Craig Kimbrel, 87.6Brad Ziegler, 82.0Baseball, to me, is so entertaining in part because of its diversity of cultures, skills, styles and strategies. We’ve gradually lost some of that as MLB front offices try to optimize their rosters to be as efficient as possible. For more than a decade, Ziegler was a refreshing change of pace. The Red Sox are in a bad way right now and they have the good fortune of getting to travel to Tampa Bay to take on the hottest team in baseball this weekend. The pessimistic (and realist, to be..."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Red Sox StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Red Sox NewsYahoo Red Sox Team PageYahoo Red Sox ReportYahoo Red Sox Depth ChartYahoo Red Sox TransactionsYahoo Red Sox PhotosOdds About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub amethreadsGame 20 Gamethread: Red Sox at RaysNew,309commentsEDTShareTweetShareShareGame 20 Gamethread: Red Sox at RaysThe Red Sox are in a bad way right now and they have the good fortune of getting to travel to Tampa Bay to take on the hottest team in baseball this weekend. The pessimistic (and realist http://www.indiansfanproshop.com/authentic-b.j.-upton-jersey , to be honest) way of looking at this is as an opportunity for them to get buried in the standings. Let’s take the optimistic view, though. This is a chance to make a statement and start their resurgence in style. Maybe if we wish hard enough we can make it happen. Eduardo Rodriguez will start tonight against Ryne Stanek, an opener. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET, and this will be your space to discuss the action.How to WatchYou can watch locally on NESNplus as well as on the new cord-cutters app FuboTV, which does carry NESN for those in the local market. There is no national broadcast tonight.How to ListenWEEI 93.7 AM has the call.Prep for the GameLineupsSeries PreviewToday on the SiteBryan Mata is on a rollDustin Pedroia hits the ILMookie is the face of Boston’s strugglesChavis is upJoin us below for the game today. Just remember to be respectful of everyone.Go Sox!Over the Monster has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Over the Monster and SB Nation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our guiding principles.