September 26, 2021

Oakland Retains Diekman, 2020 Dreams (FanGraphs)

When the A’s acquired Jake Diekman for the first time back in July, they hoped that he might pair effectively with a then-recovering A.J. Puk in neutralizing left-handed hitters, who through that point in the season had hit Oakland relievers to the tune of a .305 wOBA — not terrible, but also behind Houston, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and New York in the American League. They also hoped that 2019 would end up being the first year since 2006 in which the A’s won a postseason series.

Neither of those things happened. Diekman, who has allowed a .293 wOBA to left-handed hitters over the course of his career, allowed a .314 figure to the 47 lefties he faced for Oakland, walking seven and hitting one with a pitch. The A’s, meanwhile, lost the AL Wild Card game to the Rays, 5-1. Diekman faced one batter.

Still, all the potential the A’s saw in Diekman last summer is still there, and so too is Billy Beane’s thirst for a World Championship. If you thought that last week’s Jurickson Profar trade was evidence of a step back from that goal (which I do not), think again. Diekman alone isn’t enough to put the A’s over the top (frankly, three Diekmans wouldn’t be enough)…

Click here to read the whole article at FanGraphs