Diekman’s Sizzling Fastball

diekmanThe Phillies are looking for relief pitchers, and lately left-hander Jake Diekman has made his case to be in the 2014 bullpen.

He struck out the only two batters he faced in the eighth inning in Saturday’s 6-5 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. He has allowed five hits, one run, two walks and struck out a remarkable 18 in 11 2/3 innings in his last 12 appearances.

He has been impressive as he has touched as high as 99 mph on the home radar gun. In fact, according to FanGraphs, Diekman’s average fastball velocity is third best among Phillies pitchers from 2002-13. His fastball his first two seasons in the big leagues has averaged 95.4 mph, which trails only Billy Wagner (96.7 mph) and Felix Rodriguez (95.6 mph). Wagner pitched for the Phillies from 2004-05. Rodriguez made 23 appearances for the Phillies in 2004.

Interestingly, five of the pitchers in the top 10 have pitched for the Phillies this season: B.J. Rosenberg (94.8 mph) is fourth, Phillippe Aumont (94.7 mph) is tied with Francisco Rosario for fifth, J.C. Ramirez (94.1 mph) is ninth and Luis Garcia (94.0 mph) is 10th.

And for those interested, of the 128 pitchers available to FanGraphs, former Phillies infielder John McDonald ranked last at 78.3 mph. Jamie Moyer ranked 127th with an 81.2 mph fastball.


If five of the top ten of any statistical pitching category measured since 2002 have pitched for the Phillies this season it only supports the conclusion that the statistic doesn’t really mean too much without more. Hopefully, improving performances show that Diekman is finding this illusive “more” and will improve the Phillies going forward..

Not sure how you came to that conclusion but there is a case to be made for having someone who throws hard out of the pen late in a game – assuming they can throw strikes.

If you are not sure why do you parrot what I posted?

You questioned the validity of a fastball speed statistic because 5 of those on the list pitched for the Phillies this year. You provided nothing beyond that and I stated that I was unsure how you came to the conclusion that it was a useless stat simply because those pitchers pitched for a certain team in a certain year. Care to elaborate?

No, I am not questioning the value of a pitchers velocity because 5 of the pitchers on the list have pitched for the Phillies this year. Rather, I am offering the fact that 5 of the pitchers attaining this velocity have pitched for the losing Phillies this year.

Right – “pitch velocity is an unimportant stat because they pitch for a losing team”. That’s what you said. That’s what I questioned. My point was that velocity is unimportant if a pitcher cannot throw strikes. Parrot indeed.

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