The Phillies bullpen has been nothing short of a nightmare for the last couple of seasons in South Philly. There has been a lack of talent in the ‘pen and it has reared its ugly head numerous times.
Philadelphia has truly not had a lockout closer since they traded Jonathon Papelbon. With free agency officially reopened, the Phillies will need to address the bullpen. A former friend would be a perfect fit for the Phillies and that man is Jake Diekman.
Things Would Come Full Circle For the Phillies and Diekman
The Phillies drafted Jake Diekman in the 2007 MLB Draft in the 30th round. Diekman would make his major league debut in 2012, still with Philadelphia. The flame-throwing lefty would pitch in Philadelphia for four seasons before being dealt with the Texas Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.
As a Phillie, Jake pitched in 191 ballgames for the club. A 9-11 win-loss record paired with 225 strikeouts and only 95 walks, Diekman was a very impressive reliever for the team. Diekman was also a part of the Phillies’ combined no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves.
Diekman has spent time in Texas, Oakland, Kansas City, and Arizona since his exit from Philadelphia in 2015. Overall Jake has been a reliable relief pitcher, which is something that the Phillies have lacked for a long time now.
Diekman is a fringe closer and has not spent much time in that role during his career. His seven saves in 2021 double his career total to 14. While the Phillies need a closer, they can benefit from adding Diekman back to their bullpen ranks. A valuable late innings pitcher paired with Corey Knebel, who the Phillies signed in December, can help the Phillies head in the right direction.
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