A reliever, that is, according to Ken Rosenthal and Matt Gelb:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2018
In trying to add a reliever before 4 p.m., #Phillies believed to be targeting high-strikeout guys as a way of mitigating their poor defense. Keep an eye on Jake Diekman in Texas or possibly Will Smith in San Francisco.
— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) July 31, 2018
Looks like Bryce Harper is off the table, which ends the lamest and shortest block of trade rumors of all time.
So here we are with this instead. The Phils could use a high-leverage lefty, and Diekman would fit the bill. He’s 31 now, part of the trade that sent Cole Hamels to the Rangers in 2015 and brought in Matt Harrison, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson, Alec Asher, and Jerad Eickhoff.
Diekman has pitched 39 innings this season, logging a 3.69 ERA and striking out 48 while walking 23 batters and giving up 31 hits. He’s putting up a nasty 11.08 K/9 but also walking 5.31 batters per nine innings. Opponents are only hitting .212 against him with a .46 HR/9, so he’s keeping the ball in the yard.
Diekman, though a hard thrower from the left side, has historically performed about the same against left and right-handed hitters. This season, though, he’s actually been better against hitters on the right side. He’s holding them to a .584 OPS, while lefties have posted a strong .793 OPS.