Texas Rangers: How Does Jake Diekman Impact The Bullpen?
By Andrew Webb
It has been a long wait, but the Texas Rangers finally have lefty Jake Diekman back in the bullpen. How does having Diekman back in Arlington impact the Rangers bullpen?
For the first time this season lefty Jake Diekman is on the Texas Rangers active roster. On Friday, Diekman returned to the Rangers bullpen after completing three surgeries to correct the issues he was suffering from as a result of ulcerative colitis.
The Rangers didn’t wait long for Diekman’s season debut. He pitched in an intense game on Friday where he got out of critical situation with allowing just a sacrifice fly. He got out of the inning and the Rangers held on to win the game 10-9.
The 30-year-old lefty reliever has been an important part of the Rangers bullpen. He went 4-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 66 games last season. He finished with four saves and allowed just 36 hits in 53 innings of work.
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During his short rehab assignments Diekman pitched absolutely terrific. He had a 1.42 ERA in six appearances and struck out eight batters without allowing a walk. It’s safe to say the Rangers are glad to have Diekman back in the bullpen.
It has been difficult for Texas the last few months with just one lefty out of the bullpen. That lefty being Alex Claudio and he’s taken to the closer role as of late. This season Claudio is 7 of 10 in save opportunities.
It’s likely the Rangers keep Claudio in that role until he proves otherwise. That being said, Diekman can now be used as a setup pitcher. The Rangers were in desperate need of a lefty reliever that could come in before the ninth inning.
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Having Diekman return off the disabled list will help the Rangers bullpen immensely. This gives the Rangers bullpen something they have been missing basically the whole season. The addition of Diekman could take the Rangers bullpen to the next level.