IronPigs

Schwimer: Diekman, Valdes, Luna Called Up

Phillies’ up-again-down-again reliever Michael Schwimer posted a congratulatory message on Twitter to three Lehigh Valley IronPigs teammates on Thursday afternoon in relation to their promotions to the big league club.  The three players mentioned were lefty hurlers Jake Diekman (pictured) and Raul Valdes as well as mulit-positional veteran Hector Luna.

Diekman, 25, has posted sparkling numbers dating back to last year.  Over 16 combined relief outings in the Arizona Fall League and in Major League spring training this year, Diekman posted a 0.55 ERA with 23 strike outs and 7 walks.  The Nebraska native followed that up by allowing just 1 earned run through 12 relief innings, while striking out 22 and walking just 3 batters with the IronPigs.

Diekman, a 30th round pick of the Phillies in the 2007 amateur draft, sports a fastball that reaches 95 MPH, a solid slider and a deceiving change up. He was ranked 18th on the 2012 PhilliesNation top prospects countdown.

Valdes was signed by the Phillies last October as a free agent and has big league experience with the Yankees and St. Louis.  In 51 Major League games, Valdes has posted a 3-4 record with 4.58 ERA and a .265 batting average against.  This season with the IronPigs, the Cuba native was 1-2 with 1 save and a 3.86 ERA while producing an impressive 26/1 strike out/walk ratio in 21 innings pitched over 11 relief outings.

The additions to the relief corps should help solidify a Phillies bullpen that has shown considerable weakness this season, serving up a Major League worst 5.59 ERA in 31 games. The struggles have gotten worse recently, as Phillies relievers have allowed 19 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings over the past six games, leaving no question that some changes in the bullpen were necessary.

Luna, who signed as a free agent for organizational depth this past off-season, is a career utility man, who has big league experience at every position besides catcher and pitcher.

Through 29 games this season for the IronPigs, the righty batting Dominican native posted a .274 batting average with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR and 12 RBI. The 32-year-old Luna has played in the Majors with St. Louis, Toronto, Cleveland and Miami.

The corresponding moves at the big league level seem to be the demotion of reliever Joe Savery, who was sent down after Wednesday night’s loss to the Mets, along with two likely additions to the team’s disabled list, namely Chad Qualls and Laynce Nix.

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Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider.  You can check out more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

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0 Comments

  1. TheDipsy

    May 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Valdes and Diekman should help solidify the bullpen, Jay? How? To me, they represent two new bodies to rotate into the pen until they demonstrate they are no better than anybody else that has been there so far this year. Diekman…….mayyyy-be he could stick. I hope Valdes sees nothing more than mop up duty.

    The Dipsy

    • George

      May 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

      Maybe they’ll be okay for a couple of games, since no one has faced them yet this year. At least right now they’re not guaranteed to blow leads like the rest of the pen.

      I, too, though, do not look forward to Valdes. Unlike you, however, I don’t even want to see him in mop-up duty, unless by mop-up you mean cleaning the spit from the dugout floor.

      I’ll wait before I make any other comments, though. Schwimer may have gotten this all wrong, or the front office might change its mind.

    • Jay Floyd

      May 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      Dipsy, will the addition of two new, deserving pitchers make the bullpen worse than last in baseball? No. So, their addition should very well help the struggling group. They are big K guys and that is what the Phils need at this point.

  2. FireRaj.com

    May 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Hector Luna, a 32-year old journeyman is supposed to provide energy?

    Well, no wonder that FireRAJ.com has launched!

    • schmenkman

      May 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Who said anything about energy? He’s a versatile bench piece who can hit a little while Nix is out.

      • c schreiber

        May 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm

        Why not that big stud offensive player you koolaid drinkers were bantering about the other night, Fontenot. SURE.

    • George

      May 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      Yep, fire RAJ. He’s the dirt bag that ripped all the cartilage from Utley’s knees, Chopped up Howard’s Achilles tendon, and sent a bunch of others guys to the DL. He’s also the imbecile who wasted so much money on Halladay and Lee. Any stupid fan could do better than the current run of consecutive division titles.

      • c schreiber

        May 10, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        No, he’s the GM who knew back in mid season that we needed a left fielder to replace Ibanez, he’s the GM who knew on the last play of the season that we needed a viabile replacement for Howard and he’s the GM who knew or should have known before 2011 started that Utley had big knee problems. Who did he give us Nix, Wigginton and Papelbon???? Need anything else need to be said George.

    • landshark

      May 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      One thing is certain….He’s an upgrade over Galvis

      • schmenkman

        May 10, 2012 at 6:16 pm

        I don’t think I would let Luna anywhere near a major league second base spot.

    • brooks

      May 11, 2012 at 8:51 am

      I recall a few years ago when the Phils called up a journeyman catcher who made a tremendous impact on the team for 2 years at least. Chris Coste lives on!
      Give Luna a chance, why not? What are Galvis and Orr contributing?

      • schmenkman

        May 11, 2012 at 9:17 am

        Luna as a second baseman is Wigginton-lite. If the Phillies weren’t concerned about defense at second, Wiggy would have had much more playing time, and Galvis might still be a Pig.

  3. Jeff Dowder

    May 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    The big news is that Jimmy Rollins just announced that some new swag is available from his website.

    http://shop.jimmyrollins.com/

  4. George

    May 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I just noticed that Luna is a “mulit-positional veteran,” to quote the article. If you mean he has a bad haircut, the term is actually spelled “mullet.”

    • Jay Floyd

      May 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Of cooouurrssee! I always mean to reference men’s haircuts in my articles.

  5. TheDipsy

    May 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    My question is: “What do you do when there’s nothing to be done”? The answer is a move like this. Jay, respected poster, moves like this, while I have no problem with it because what are the Phils losing but the travel expenses to get them here, are what bad teams do. Bad guys go down and bad guys come up. Moving the thread forward a little: Jimmy Rollins? Hello? Bueller. Move him to 7. Put Pierre in the leadoff spot and leave him there. Who can say they have been caught surprised by such an inept stretch of offense by him. Well, I guess he’s paid. I think the time has passed when Charlie should be some concerned with how Jimmy feels and what makes him comfortable. You wanna hit like Mark Belanger then you can bat in his spot, too.

    The Dipsy

  6. BART SHART

    May 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    ………They gotta try something. I welcome the bullpen additions, especially if Qualls is hurt. We have NOTHING to lose. Keep all fingers crossed and pray to St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes.

  7. jenaetippin

    May 11, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Wunderschöne Designed Grape Strapless Sticken Ballkleid [minidress347] – $159.72 :Wunderschöne Designed Grape Strapless Sticken Ballkleid [minidress347] – $159.72 :

  8. Chooch 4 Prez

    May 17, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Interesting turn of events, eh? I’m sure you’re hating Luna tonight. This team is turning it around. Remember, they win big in the summer.

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