Rumors

Phillies reportedly interested in reacquiring Jake Diekman



Jake Diekman spent parts of four seasons with the Phillies earlier this decade. (Keith Allison)

Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak elected not to trade for franchise icon Cole Hamels last summer when the Texas Rangers shopped the former World Series MVP. Beyond the natural attachment that the Phillies fanbase has to Hamels, the 35-year-old has found a second life to his career with the Chicago Cubs, posting a 2.71 ERA in 29 starts since joining the Chicago Cubs last July. Objectively, Klentak – and a lot of other teams around the league – would probably like another chance at acquiring the four-time All-Star for a minimal return.

At least until this offseason, when Hamels is eligible to become a free-agent for the first time in his career, the Phillies won’t get another crack at a reunion with Hamels. But they may be interesting in reacquiring the player they sent with him to Texas in July of 2015.

Per MLB.com‘s Jeffrey Flanagan, the Phillies “scouted the Royals during the last homestand and had a scout on hand at Progressive Field on Friday” to watch former Phillie Jake Diekman, who is currently pitching for Kansas City. Flanagan also says that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals have interest in Diekman.

Now 32, Diekman has a 4.89 ERA in 45 games in 2019, which certainly doesn’t scream trade candidate. However, his 3.61 FIP suggests he’s due for some positive regression and he does have some postseason experience from the parts of four seasons he spent with the Rangers.

Now in his eighth season, Diekman has been able to hang around in the league through highs and lows primarily because it’s important – and often difficult – to find multiple left-handed options to use out of your bullpen. The Phillies actually aren’t in bad shape in that regard – Jose Alvarez has a 3.32 ERA in 40 games in 2019 and Adam Morgan, despite a few outliers, is having the strongest season of his career. Still, another left-handed option, especially one that has experience pitching to batters from both sides in high-leverage situations, could potentially give the Phillies a unique advantage as they look to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011.

The Phillies selected Diekman in the 30th round of the 2007 MLB Draft, and he made his debut at the major league level in 2012 with the Phillies. 2013 remains the most impressive individual season of his career, as Diekman posted a 2.58 ERA, 2.50 FIP and 0.7 fWAR in 45 games for a Phillies team that was managed by Charlie Manuel and Ryne Sandberg. On Labor Day 2014, Diekman pitched a hitless seventh inning as part of the only combined no-hitter in Phillies history, joining the aforementioned Hamels, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon in completing the feat at Turner Field in Atlanta.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. delmo

    July 20, 2019 at 8:53 am

    They have a scout here and a scout there. This is funny. When was the last time one of their scouts got something right? I’ll tell you-Jim Bunning 1964. Please; these scouts emulate blind sisters of the poor . . . Is there any supervision paired with accountability in this dysfunctional organization? It appears to be the good ol buddy network of cronyism. Results do not count here. Just philanthropic phillies wall to wall.

    • bb

      July 20, 2019 at 8:02 pm

      I thought the Steve Carlton for Rick Wise trade (1972) worked out fairly well.

  2. bb

    July 20, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    I thought the Steve Carlton for Rick Wise trade (1972) worked out fairly well.

  3. delmo

    July 20, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Jim Bunning for Don Demeter to Tigers was a steal and a scouting coup. Aging Bunning was showing signs of decline in Detroit. Carlton for Wise was not the result of any scouting acumen on the home team’s behalf. Carlton and Wise were both young, well established quantities of their era and it was simply a lefty righty preference respectively. How did the genius Phil’s scouting fare in the Ferguson Jenkins fiasco? That’s what I thought . . . . . . How did the Arrieta fiasco workout? How did the Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl scouting fiasco workout? How did the Dick Ellsworth scouting fiasco work? How did the Curt Simmons decision work? I will tell you: It cost the Phils the 1964 pennant because the ex Phil Simmons won 18 for Cardinals that year as Cards took season series from Phils 13-5 and Curt Simmons was 3-0 vs. his former club. There is a reason home team is the worst in history of the sport. And that reason is not Connie Mack stadium.

    • lou possehl

      July 21, 2019 at 8:47 pm

      Anybody can make a list of trades or signings — for any club — that DIDN’T work out. So that’s what you did, including the Arrieta deal that shouldn’t been in your sh*t list and certainly hasn’t been a “fiasco”. As for things that worked … Bobby Abreu for Kevin Stocker — seems to me that wasn’t too bad. And getting John Kruk and another guy for Chris James was, I thought, a deal the Phillies or any other club could live with. And those are in addition to Carton for Wise, picking up Halladay, etc. As to drafting — the names Hamels, Schmidt, Utley and Daulton (25th round) come immediately to mind and, I think, there were others …

      As to the overall, historical crappy record of the Phillies … They certainly set what must be an all-time record for major sports mismanagement, in a stretch spanning from the Depression to the post-WWII years. From 1933 to 1947 (or to put it another way, from the time the Whiz Kids were in grade school until, as Phillies prospects, they began to percolate to the top), the Phillies were a stunning 822-1467 (.359 W-L avg.). If you strip out that disastrous stretch, overall the Phillies are 8973-9500. That’s a .485 average which, while not quite up to the Yankees standard, makes them about a 5th-place club in an 8-team league of yore. In more recent decades, the Phillies have won a couple of WS and have been a playoff team several more times.

      It’s 80 years later and it’s not Doc Prothro’s team any more.

      • delmo

        July 22, 2019 at 1:10 am

        Thank you for your efforts. I am interested to hear your erudite views of the home team’s South American scouting results and training academy grads. How do you like the relatively recent 1.6 mil signing of teenager Starlyn Castillo? Real scouts snicker at more wasted cash. Jake for 75mil is certainly a scouting fiasco or more excess philly philanthropy. Cheque his stats. The Cubs got Ferguson Jenkins and smiled as Phils scouts phawned over the original Handy Andy Tool Box Bowie Baysox Oriole. Nice stadia by the way in Bowie, Maryland as I once viewed many games there during last baseball strike. Maybe homers could learn from a few of their glaring faux pas decisions. And let us not forget the installation of the current field general with zero previous major league experience. What is your view of Jim Konstanty and Robin Roberts in reference to the modern era of babying the chuckers with pitch counts, etc.? Merci beaucoup et Auf Wiedersehen

        • lou possehl

          July 22, 2019 at 4:25 pm

          To remind you … you started this thread with your, “When was the last time one of their scouts got something right? I’ll tell you-Jim Bunning 1964.” I, and others, have shown you where the Phillies organization — in addition to making mistakes — has indeed gotten things right, and on multiple occasions. Yet you keep regurgitating this mistake and that — thus ducking the mistaken premise of your initial post. Now you come up with Starlyn Castillo. I wouldn’t know Starlyn Castillo from Speedy Gonzalez — except to say that he’s a teenager who may or may pan out in about 5 years and, in this day & age of inflated dollars and gazillion-dollar, multi-year contracts, who gives a f*** about chump change like $1.6 million? I lose that in a day trade, and then go out to lunch.

          My view of Konstanty/Roberts and pitch counts? That was 65-70 years ago — a veritable Stone Age when “computing” meant something with punch cards and “analytics” didn’t go much beyond runs-hit-errors and ERA. Was Roberts misused? In retrospect reaching back decades — certainly, yes. Was he treated or mistreated any differently than any other ace of the time — say, Warren Spahn? Tell us about it (you can’t, because he wasn’t).

          You and I will disagree on the Arrietta signing. Arrietta is on board with an opt-out clause;
          you may want to consider that he’s not been great but certainly has been good — and may well continue to contribute pending addressing his bone spur condition — surgery that certainly isn’t open-heart or career-threatening. In terms of the Phillies rotation over the last couple of years, ask yourself where the Phillies be if they HADN’T signed Arrietta. Nola and … WHO? I think most here would consider the Arrietta signing a needed one and somewhere in the OK-to-good range … and certainly not, as you’d like to believe, a “fiasco”. And that’s also a range I’d apply to the Phillies organization overall, from the post-WWII era right up to today.

          • delmo

            July 23, 2019 at 2:52 am

            I saw you pitch in ’48 and certainly thought you should have been on the 1950 Whiz Kid roster. What was most disappointing was when Curt Simmons was called up by his uncle and missed the World Series; Jocko was inserted in the pen and not you. That home team scouting was yet again questionable. Too bad . . .

  4. Bartybart

    July 20, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    Lets not forget kyle drabek for Doc Holliday. Plus Curt Schilling trade

  5. Ken Bland

    July 20, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Carlton and Wise had zero to do with lefty righty preference. It was pure economics. At least according to publicity. But I have NEVER heard a word about an arm preference in that trade.

  6. G1HA

    July 21, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Hire the U of Michigan pitching coach to take over as pitching coach or put him in charge of minor league pitching development. He’s a Dodger guy, time to start emulating a minor league system always loaded with prospects who can help when called on!

    • Lefty

      July 21, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      “He’s a Dodger guy, time to start emulating a minor league system always loaded with prospects who can help when called on”

      Agree- We need more than one guy, but this would be a start

  7. lou possehl

    July 23, 2019 at 5:12 am

    [reply to delmo]

    I had a great year in ’47 with the Utica Blue Sox in the Eastern League with Ashburn, Hamner, Lopata etc. – guys who were to form the heart of the Phillies’ Whiz Kids. A highlight for me was pitching the 6-2 victory in Game 7 of the Eastern League playoffs, with the Blue Sox winning over the Albany Senators. A tough series, after we pretty much cleaned up the league in the regular season.

    I never quite made it “to the top” with those guys. Had arm problems later on, although neither Sawyer nor anyone else overused me. Them’s the breaks. Yes, too bad about Simmons not being able to appear in the ’50 WS. Altho had he been there I don’t think it would have made any difference – we just couldn’t score runs against those Damn Yankees. No one could complain about our pitching, however — Konstanty came in as a starter and pitched a great game, losing 1-0. But scoring 5 runs in 4 games just didn’t cut it — setting a WS record for scoring futility, I believe, at the time. A record broken some years later by those same very Yankees, when they ran into a buzz saw named Koufax, Drysdale and Podres. (Chuckle, chuckle.)

    Nice memories; fun reminiscing. Best – Lou.

  8. delmo

    July 23, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Curt Simmons was fantastic in the ’64 World Series. He went two for four at the plate. He would have helped at the dish in 1950. Also, Curt made two fantastic starts vs. Mantle & Company in ’64; pitching over 14 innings to an era of approx. 2.53 . I recently viewed a tape of ’57 all star game from St.Louis in which Curt Simmons started for the NL. They showed him also in pregame warmups from behind the mound and I love his delivery motion with all that wrist action. Very smooth to the plate. He reminded me of a lefty Art Mahaffey who as you know made the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1962; the same year a fabulous rookie appeared named Ray Culp. Too bad injuries slowed those two high potentials along with Dennis Bennett. Phils do not have much luck. Jim Bunning started this all star game for AL and pitched three perfect innings. His motion in ’57 was identical to what he brought to Philly in ’64. The announcer classified Bunning a side-armer. Lou- do you think that is accurate? I do not completely agree. I always called Bunning a buggy whipper who could go over the top if he wished. Certainly he was no Ted Abernathy. What velocity did Simmons have when young? Did Simmons injure his foot in a lawn cutting accident? What Hall of Fame hurlers had similar velocity to Simmons? What other hurlers had similar velocity to Bunning? I saw Bob Gibson many times live and to me his velocity looked scary. Was Gibson alot faster than Bunning? Was Bob Veale alot faster than Bunning? Was Sam McDowell alot faster than Bunning? Thanks.

  9. lou possehl

    July 24, 2019 at 4:30 am

    As to Curt Simmons – a tale of lots of what-ifs and if-onlys. Some interesting info I was aware of and also just dredged up: Simmons was called up by the Phillies late in 1947, at the tender age of 18 – pitched a complete-game 5-hit win. Next year (we’re talking age 19, that is) he started 31 games for them. (Talk about how pitchers were used, then and now!) He went on to pitch 325 games for the Phillies over a 13-year career. That injury of his was indeed lawn-mower induced; he lost toes on his left foot – his push-off foot. How he ever recovered from that to pitch at a major-league level is a minor miracle in itself. “He walked with a limp forever after. His delivery turned from silky smooth into herky-jerky.” He found something of a second career with the Cardinals, altho overall he wasn’t super – over 7 years, 69-58 W/L. Amazing, nevertheless. I’m sure his foot injury contributed to his arm trouble, as one can certainly assume compensatory adjustments to his delivery as a result of his damaged foot. The Phillies could indeed have had two aces (Roberts, Simmons, then Ridzik and Heintzelman), and been right there in pennant races. If only … But they still would have lagged behind the Dodgers, who were loading up on Negro League talent (Robinson, Newcombe, Campanella, Black) while the Phillies ownership had its white finger figuratively up its backside.

    You asked about the pitching motion and velocity of several hurlers. That’s over my head and out of my range. After having a front-row seat to see the future Whiz Kids – when I was a kid – my work has taken me not to Philly but to NYC and DC and LA. What I did see, I guess anyone else could have: Thru the magic of that newfangled invention called TV I saw some great hurlers over the years: Spahn, Gibson, Koufax, Ryan to name just a few who made the biggest impression on me. I saw Spahn, as a Met, pitch a complete-game extra-inning 1-0 loss, when he must have been about 70. Great leg kick; I imagine that contributed to his amazing durability. For velocity, I thought Ryan was tops. Sandy was simply unbeatable for a stretch (in one WS, Mantle said of the Koufax curve that he couldn’t hit that thing even if he knew it was coming.) Gibson stands out as one scary dude. If I were a player/hitter, maybe I could have stood in the box and looked at a fastball from one of those other guys. But with Gibson, I’m sure I would have broken out in a cold sweat, the bat slipping from my moist and trembling fingers.

    I do not understand how the current Phillies, with their much-improved lineup, can have such a sporadic offense – tonight’s Tigers game being a perfect example. Relying on a Kingery extra-inning triple against a bad club just doesn’t cut it. But all that is OT, and a subject for another time.

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