2015 Rangers Positional Review: Seventh-Inning Man

With the Rangers' surprising season in the books, let's take a look at the season on a position-by-position basis.

2015 Seventh-Inning Relief

The guy: Jake Diekman

With one stroke of Jon Daniels' genius back in July, the Texas Rangers acquired starting pitcher Cole Hamels for a hefty package of Rangers prospects and veteran lefty Matt Harrison, who improbably returned to a big-league mound after an unprecedented spinal fusion for a pitcher.

What Daniels got back was a frontline starter in Hamels, who is controllable for years to come, along with a little throw-in piece of a lefty reliever who could throw heat but didn't exactly know where it was going.

His name was Jake Diekman, and he was expected to contribute in the Rangers' pen, and mainly just provide another lefty.

What Diekman actually did was much more than that.

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In 36 2/3 innings with the Phillies this year, he had a 5.15 ERA. In his 21 2/3 regular-season innings with Texas, he posted a 2.08 ERA with 20 strikeouts. In the postseason, he allowed one run on two hits in six innings of work — showing he could pitch in the seventh, give the Rangers two innings, pitch in the eighth — whatever they needed, pretty much.

You have to wonder about what's to come for the hard-throwing lefty, but his history suggests it won't be 2015 Phillies bad, and even if it's not 2015 Rangers awesome, it's likely going to be pretty good.

Overall, we'll give this slot an A.

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