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Mets Nearing Deal With Jake Diekman

The Mets are near a take care of free agent lefty Jake Diekman, per Will Sammon and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The Mets have been exploring the marketplace for left-handed bullpen assist, and the veteran Diekman would examine that merchandise off the crew’s to-do record. Diekman is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.

Diekman, 37, is a veteran of 12 main league seasons. The Mets could be the southpaw’s ninth membership. He’s by no means had even common command of the strike zone (profession 13.3% stroll price), however he’s a power-armed lefty who misses bats in droves and has managed to beat his penchant for walks as a rule.

The 2023 season was an uneven one for Diekman, who opened the 12 months with an unpleasant 11 1/3 innings within the White Sox bullpen earlier than (like so many pitchers earlier than him) making a 180-degree turnaround upon signing with the Rays. Diekman was rocked for 10 runs on 11 hits and 13 walks with the ChiSox however gave the Rays 45 1/3 frames of two.18 ERA ball with a 28.6% strikeout price and 13.5% stroll price. He averaged 95.7 mph on his heater throughout his time with Tampa Bay — proper in step with the 95.6 mph he averaged over the seven seasons prior.

While Diekman has had some tough seasons interspersed all through his principally stable profession, he’s by no means posted an ERA of 5.00 or greater and has stored his earned run common south of 4.00 in eight of his dozen MLB campaigns. On the entire, he sports activities a lifetime 3.82 ERA in 570 1/3 MLB innings, together with a 3.67 ERA over the previous 4 years.

Tampa Bay modified up his pitch utilization a bit, as Diekman threw his changeup at a career-high 15.8% clip as a Ray. He’d beforehand by no means thrown the pitch at greater than a 7% clip in any full season. In truth, Diekman entered the season with simply 149 complete changeups thrown in his profession … earlier than throwing 137 of them in 2023 alone. The outcomes have been robust: opponents batted simply .176/.222/.294 within the 36 plate appearances that Diekman completed off with a changeup. His slider and four-seamer remained efficient as ever; opponents hit simply .161 and .175 whereas slugging .290 and .228 towards that pair of choices, respectively.

Lack of command has been the first flaw holding Diekman again from standing as one of many recreation’s elite lefties. At age 37, that’s unlikely to alter. But even with a bloated stroll price, the standard of Diekman’s pitches ought to proceed to supply loads of whiffs and a deluge of weak contact. Opponents have averaged a below-average 87.8 mph off the bat towards him in his MLB profession and hit simply 33.6% of batted balls at 95 mph or higher. In 2023, opponents mustered a pitiful 84.6 mph common exit velocity and equally feeble 26.4% hard-hit price towards him.

More to come back.

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