ZiPS Projections: Seventh-Inning Lefty | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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ZiPS Projections: Seventh-Inning Lefty

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    TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 08: Jake Diekman #41 of the Texas Rangers throws a pitch in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during game one of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 8, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

    Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections are a good measure of what to expect from players in the upcoming baseball season. We'll take a look at the Rangers' projections on a position-by-position basis. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski.

    Last season saw the Rangers overhaul their overworked, underperforming bullpen at the trade deadline, and Diekman was a huge part of that. See as a "throw-in" piece to the Cole Hamels trade, Diekman definitely took a back seat to the No. 1 starter, but he was far from forgettable. Diekman came to town and immediately began blowing people away with his high heat. He went from a hard-throwing, wild pitcher in Philly to an unhittable strikeout machine in Texas.

    Diekman: 71 games, 65 1/3 innings pitched, 68 strikeouts, 33 walks, 6 home runs, 4.13 ERA, 9.37 K/9 innings, 4.55 BB/9 innings

    Diekman came to town in July and totally transformed his game, working 21 2/3 innings over 26 appearances and putting up a 2.08 ERA. His high-90s heat that hit triple digits occasionally was tough to handle. The big jump in ERA in these projections is hard to look at if you're just a Rangers fan, but if you look at it objectively, it's probably spot on. After all, Diekman's ERA in Philly was 5.15 before the trade and the year before that it was 3.80.

    He might not be the lockdown guy he was in his two-plus months in Texas in 2015, but he's still going to be solid.