2013 Player Reviews

Phillies Player Review: Jake Diekman

Diekman was one of few bright spots for the Phillies’ 2013 bullpen.

The Phillies wrapped up their 2013 season yesterday, finishing 27th in bullpen ERA, 28th in FIP (defined here), 28th in xFIP (defined here), and 29th in BB/9 IP. To say the bullpen was brutal would be an understatement. The 2013 Phils used 51 players, 21 of which were relievers.

Yikes.

To add insult to injury, the arms the Phillies had hoped to develop in 2013, including Phillippe Aumont, Michael Stutes, and J.C. Ramirez to name a few, spun out. Well, except for Jake Diekman.

2013 was a strange year for Diekman. Expected to have a shot to make the Phillies out of Spring Training, Diekman was seemingly stuck in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. With the Phillies in need of a lefty reliever, Diekman, much like in 2012, watched as both Joe Savery and Raul Valdes received shots at the big club. To make matters worse, Diekman’s Triple-A performance wasn’t as strong as his 2012 Triple-A stint or 2012 MLB cameo (5.70 ERA, 1.833 WHIP).

But by June 14, everything had changed. Diekman joined the Phillies roster, throwing about 4% more fastballs which had increased by a MPH, throwing about 6% less sliders while adding almost 3 MPH to that pitch, and increasing the use of his change-up by about 3% while shaving off about half MPH.

Diekman ended the 2013 with 45 appearances, including an eight-game scoreless appearance streak to wrap up the season. Diekman averaged under double-digit K/9 IP for the first time since 2010 but also had the lowest BB/9 IP in his career for any individual season. Diekman was able to translate control into less walks and more outs.

Grade: A. Diekman has not only earned a spot in the 2014 bullpen, in my opinion, but he has also established himself in the upper-half of lefty relievers in Major League baseball. He still has drastic platoon splits (150 points better BAA against lefties than righties) but his performance ranked him 22nd in FIP and 20th in xFIP among the 215 relievers with 30 or more innings pitched. While he would have more work to do to be a true eighth inning solution, Diekman was one of the few bullpen arms that answered the bell in 2013.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. bacardipr

    September 30, 2013 at 7:44 am

    I favored Diekman over Aumont. Both had control issues but for some reason i was impressed with Diekman more. I see Aumont going the way of Schwimer or better yet Mathieson. Stutes was probably pitching injured from the start. Ramirez looks to be a wash out. Adam’s health is a question mark so i suggest they bring in at the minimum 1 but preferably 2 FA relievers. Instead of blowing a ton on games on their mediocre minor league relievers. Ethan looks to be a lock in for reliever/long relief candidate. Some of Rubes past reliever signing have been questionable. I generally was on board with the Adam’s signing though.

  2. Bob D

    September 30, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Where does Bastardo rank among left handed relievers? I would think he was as good or even better. Also I thought Jimenez was decent to good and should be brought back to compete/AAA filler unless they can find an upgrade.

  3. Pamikedc

    September 30, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Bastardo on his happy juice or without? Who’s the real AB?

    Feels good to be back PN

    • Joe

      September 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      I think he’s better w/o. He doped in 2011. Look what he did this year.

  4. Jaron B

    September 30, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I really like Diekman and De Fratus in the bullpen next year. I also think Diekman and Cloyd should show each other their throwing motions.

    As far as Aumont, Gillies, and Ramirez are concerned, that trade was awful, even w/o the benefit of hindsight. I had hoped that they’d develop, but I’m ready to close the book on this one.

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    September 30, 2013 at 10:32 am

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  6. bacardipr

    September 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Didnt see enough of Jimenez might be a good candidate for AAA filler. Cloyd on the other hand probably has no biz been even in that role.

    • Joe

      September 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Cloyd is who I’d send to the angels for Dane De La Rosa

  7. Joe

    September 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    RUBEN
    Idea— Trade Galvis to Kansas City for Kelvin Herrera and Justin Trappe. Yes I know, I’m a genius

  8. Vinnie

    September 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Diekman turned the corner when he received that balk. He go PO’s, and put some gas on the next pitch. I think he learned something from that.

  9. DavidE

    October 1, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Poor fielding held him back before. He would always try to make the great play rather than take the sure out. He was a lot better this year and he certainly has earned a job for 2014.

  10. Sy

    October 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    I think Diekman has earned a place for next year. I sense that he will improve and become more of a pitcher than a thrower.

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