Diekman was credited with his fourth hold in a win over the Astros on Saturday, allowing a hit and no walks over a scoreless eighth inning while also recording a strikeout.
Diekman was exceedingly sharp, throwing nine of his 10 pitches for strikes while extending his season-opening scoreless streak to 6.2 innings over seven appearances. The hard-throwing left-hander is one of several veteran later-inning options for manager Bob Melvin that have thrived this season, leading to Oakland's bullpen sporting a 1.80 ERA and .195 BAA across a sample of 219 batters faced going into Sunday's action.
Diekman earned his second hold in a win over the Angels on Monday, firing a scoreless eighth inning during which he issued two walks and recorded three strikeouts.
It was a bit of an adventure for the left-hander, who needed 23 pitches to navigate the frame thanks to the two free passes he issued. However, Diekman worked around his troubles by striking out the big-name trio of Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols, the latter an inning-ending whiff with Mike Trout on second base. The 33-year-old Diekman has already logged three scoreless appearances across his first four games, and given early returns, manager Bob Melvin is likely to continue calling on him frequently.
Diekman, who's considered an at-risk player in the current health landscape due to a history of ulcerative colitis, is participating in summer camp and remains focused on playing in 2020, Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports. "I want to play no matter what. The only way I won't play is if this [season] gets shut down," Diekman said. "It's going to be very hard for me to opt out now that I've pitched against hitters and we're here every day throwing bullpens. Everyone's competitive juices are flowing to the max right now, and everyone wants to play."
The left-hander has been taking extra precautions in the early days of camp, keeping his distance from other players and throwing bullpen sessions in the visitors' bullpen. Diekman also threw a 20-pitch live batting practice Tuesday that featured a 10-pitch marathon against Ramon Laureano, a session that marked the southpaw's first time throwing off a dirt mound against hitters in four months. Diekman is also in the midst of incorporating a changeup, a pitch he's just getting a handle on and will continue to refine during the remaining build to the regular season.
Diekman is remaining regularly active at home while spring training is suspended but is also concerned about the possible risks in returning to play, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Diekman is playing catch regularly with his father and is also throwing bullpen sessions once per week, keeping his arm ready for a return to action that's beginning to look like more of a possibility. However, as much as the veteran southpaw is looking forward to getting the season started, he also has particular safety concerns, as he has a pre-existing condition in the form of ulcerative colitis. That could make him more vulnerable should he contract COVID-19, but nevertheless, he also expresses confidence the players association and owners will come up with a plan that will keep the MLB population safe if play is resumed.
Diekman, a southpaw who re-signed with the Athletics on a two-year, $7.5 million contract this offseason, is expected to frequently work against both right- and left-handed hitters this season, Shayna Rubin of The Mercury News reports. "There are times, especially for a guy like him, he just sees a clear lane against righties," manager Bob Melvin said. "And just sees the plate as opposed to throwing off the hitter."
Diekman arrived via trade from the Royals on July 27 last season and generated a 4.43 ERA and 1.57 WHIP across 28 appearances. The southpaw was equally effective against batters of either handedness, holding both to a solid .303 wOBA and actually limiting right-handed bats to a lower batting average (.210) than he did same-handed hitters (.224). Melvin explains that Diekman's across-the-board effectiveness mainly stems from the fact he complements his mid-90s fastball with an extremely sharp breaking ball, a "biting slider" and a deceptive delivery. The 33-year-old could once again be an excellent source of holds, with Diekman having recorded a career-high 31 in 2019 and having produced double-digit tallies in that category in six of the last seven seasons.
Diekman signed a two-year contract with the Athletics on Tuesday with $7.5 million guaranteed, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Diekman's club option was declined by the Athletics in late October, but he will return to the team on a new two-year contract. Given his 76 appearances last season between the Royals and Athletics where he accumulated a 4.65 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, it wouldn't be surprising to see him take on a significant role in Oakland's bullpen again. Blake Treinen was non-tendered Monday, which could open up chances for late relief work in 2020.
Diekman's club option for 2020 was declined by the Athletics on Thursday, making him a free agent.
Diekman recorded an 84:39 K:BB with a 4.65 ERA over 62 innings last season with the Royals and Athletics, and will be free to sign with another team as early as Monday. The 32-year-old lefty has a 95.8 average fastball velocity and forced a 15.6 percent swinging-strike rate, so he should play a significant role in a team's bullpen in 2020.
Diekman (1-6) earned the win against the Astros on Thursday after recording the final out of the eighth inning.
With two outs and a 6-6 tie in the eighth inning, Diekman stepped in for Blake Treinen to face Yordan Alvarez. The left-hander threw just two pitches to force Alvarez to ground out. Luckily, Matt Chapman homered in the bottom of the frame to hand the win over to Diekman and the A's. Through 56 appearances this season, the 32-year-old owns a 4.86 ERA and 1.40 WHIP.
Diekman was traded from the Royals to the Athletics on Saturday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
He was highly sought after in a market where late-inning arms are at a premium, and Oakland must have stepped up with a solid offer to get the Royals to move him with a few days remaining before the deadline. Diekman has a 3.36 FIP (4.75 ERA), 1.34 FIP and 63:23 K:BB in 41.2 innings. He slots in as the clear top left-handed reliever in Oakland's bullpen.
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.
Diekman was traded from the Rangers to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday in exchange for Wei-Chieh Huang and a player to be named later, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports.
There was a chance that if Diekman hadn't been traded, he would have competed for saves down the stretch in Texas, but that is now out the window. Brad Boxberger is the established closer in Arizona, and Archie Bradley and Yoshihisa Hirano are also likely ahead of Diekman on the depth chart. The hard-throwing lefty has a 3.69 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 48:23 K:BB in 39 innings this season.
Diekman allowed a run on two hits but still picked up his second save Wednesday against Kansas City.
Diekman gave up a home run right away to Mike Moustakas, but managed to get out of the inning with the help of a caught stealing to end the game. Closer Keone Kela had recorded saves in consecutive games and three of the past four nights heading into Wednesday, and Kela should be expected to slide right back into the closer's role for Texas's next game Friday should the Rangers encounter another save situation.
Diekman (1-0) was credited with the win after he allowed a hit and struck out one over a scoreless inning Saturday against the Angels.
Jose Leclerc and Diekman threw blanks over the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, giving the Rangers' quiet bats an opportunity to scratch out two late runs and send the game into extra innings. They plated another run in the 10th to turn what was nearly a loss into a win. Diekman has a 2.08 ERA with 16 strikeouts over his last 13 innings.
Diekman (elbow) returned to action Friday against the Red Sox, allowing one run in one inning.
Diekman was hit by a comebacker Tuesday against Cleveland and suffered a bruise on his elbow. The issue wasn't a major one though, as he was able to play in a game a mere three days later.
Diekman suffered a bruise above his left elbow and on his back during Tuesday's game against the Indians, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Diekman came on in relief Tuesday and was struck by a comebacker off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion that left him with a couple of bruises. The lefty claims he'll be fine moving forward, but it's a situation worth monitoring as the bruise on his arm could potentially cause him some discomfort while throwing. Consider him day-to-day.
Diekman pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit and striking out two as he recorded his first save of the season Sunday against the Astros.
Diekman had an opportunity to get the save after the Rangers deployed Keone Kela during a 1-1 game in the ninth inning. He's struggled through his first eight appearances (three earned runs over 5.0 innings), but he'll look to build off Sunday night's outing moving forward.
|10/2/2019 vs Tampa Bay|
|vs Tampa Bay||4.0||0||0||0.00||0||0||6|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2012||AAA-Lehigh Valley Ironpi||26.2||25||0||0||1||1||7||37||13||19||1.72||1.221|
|2013||AAA-Lehigh Valley Ironpi||30.0||30||0||0||1||0||11||37||24||31||5.70||1.833|
|2015||AAA-Lehigh Valley Ironpi||7.0||6||0||0||0||0||3||7||1||5||0.00||0.857|
|2017||AAA-Round Rock Express||1.1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0.00||0.000|