Diekman (0-3) was charged with the loss against the Tigers on Wednesday after surrendering a run on a hit and a pair of walks over one inning. He struck out two. The left-hander was asked to preserve a 2-2 tie when he entered in the eighth inning. Unfortunately, he quickly loaded up the bases with a leadoff walk, a double and another free pass, enabling Brandon Dixon to hit a sacrifice fly and score the winning run. Through 31 appearances, Diekman owns a 4.28 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 41:16 K:BB.
Diekman signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract with the Royals on Wednesday, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. The deal includes a mutual option for 2020. Diekman opened the 2018 campaign with the Rangers, posting a 3.69 ERA and 11.1 K/9 across 39.0 innings before being dealt to the Diamondback prior to the trade deadline. The southpaw struggled with Arizona, but is a solid bounce-back candidate in 2019 given his overall body of work over the past three seasons (3.92 ERA and 10.6 K/9 across 117 innings). Diekman should fill a high-leverage role for the Royals.
Diekman struck out two batters as part of a perfect seventh inning Sunday in the Diamondbacks' 2-0 loss to the Rockies. Diekman had been charged with at least one run in all but one of his last six appearances out of the bullpen, so his perfect frame Sunday may have helped him regain some confidence heading into the season's final week. The lefty has been one of several key relievers for Arizona who have fallen on hard times in September, with his downturn in performance along with those of Brad Boxberger, Archie Bradley and Andrew Chafin proving damaging to the Diamondbacks' hopes for a playoff spot.
Diekman gave up one run on one hit and a walk over an inning of relief Sunday in the Diamondbacks' 9-5 loss to the Braves. The Diamondbacks held a 4-2 lead heading into the top of the eighth inning before the bullpen squandered that advantage. Diekman was the first reliever to cave, though he at least limited the damage to one run while working the eighth, allowing him to come away with his second hold as a member of the Diamondbacks. Closer Brad Boxberger then went on to blow the save in the ninth and take his third loss in four appearances, raising further questions about his security at the back of the bullpen. Even if manager Torey Lovullo opts to make a change at closer, it would likely be Yoshihisa Hirano that gets the first crack at the gig rather than Diekman.
Diekman tossed a scoreless seventh inning Friday in a 9-4 win over the Padres. Aside from a blowup against the Phillies on Aug. 7, Diekman has been as good as advertised since the Diamondbacks acquired him from the Rangers on July 31. The lefty has kept the opposition off the board in his other five appearances with the club and has retired five of the last six hitters he's faced via strikeout.