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BSN Exclusive: Here's the deal with Diehl

Patrick Lyons Avatar
March 27, 2019

On Saturday, the Rockies traded outfielder Mike Tauchman to the Yankees for pitcher Phillip Diehl.

After spending the last two years as part of the 40-man roster and even making the Opening Day roster in 2018, Tauchman, 28, seemed blocked for playing time behind the likes of Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl and Raimel Tapia.

Also, it’s becoming more clear that Garrett Hampson can man the outfield whenever the occasion should call for it.

Meanwhile, injuries to starting center fielder Aaron Hicks and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury gave New York a need for a fourth outfielder capable of playing center field. With still another option to the minors, Tauchman gives the Yankees some flexibility when Hicks and Ellsbury return or when outfield prospect Clint Frazier pushes his way onto their roster.

In need of a 40-man roster spot to add infielder Mark Reynolds to the Opening Day squad, GM Jeff Bridich utilized the depth in the organization to bring back an interesting piece in this trade that could prove to be even more valuable moving forward.

Diehl, 24, was originally drafted by the Yankees in the 27th round in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Louisiana Tech University; he also attended Wabash Valley College (IL) and was a teammate with Kyle Freeland at the University of Evansville in 2013.

The left-hander from Cincinnati split his 2018 season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, combining to go 2-3 with 2.51 ERA (75.1 IP, 21 ER), 23 walks and 108 strikeouts over 39 appearances in relief.

Diehl was a non-roster invitee to Yankees Major League Spring Training and pitched to a 4.50 ERA (5 ER, 10 IP) with a 1.50 WHIP (11 H, 4 BB) while striking out 17 batters during Grapefruit League play.

Though Diehl hasn’t been a part of the Rockies organization very long, his initial impression on Senior Director of Player Development Zach Wilson is spectacular.

“Unbelievable individual. Obviously, he’s put up tremendous numbers. He’s a skinny little runt with a live arm that gets outs. He’s extremely competitive. So, looking forward to getting to know him a lot better.”

Even Assistant GM of Player Personnel Jon Weil had good words after the scouts dug in to learn about the southpaw reliever.

“We really do like Diehl. And the makeup came back really good on him.”

In a best case scenario for him, Diehl could factor in midway through the season should the Rockies relievers find themselves struggling to get big lefties out and should he continue to get swings and misses at his current rate.

 

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