The Diamondbacks made a flurry of trades prior to the trade deadline to address some depth needs. Despite having the second-best bullpen ERA in the bigs (just behind the Yankees at 3.07), the bullpen was struggling as of recent and got some late additions in Jake Diekman from the Rangers and former D-Back Brad Ziegler from the Marlins. Eduardo Escobar was acquired shortly after the injury to Jake Lamb in Chicago. Take a look at what the Diamondbacks gave up for these three new players and what to expect from them.
D-Backs Receive Jake Diekman
3.69 ERA, 39 innings, 48 SO, 23 BB’s, .215 BAA
Rangers Receive Wei-Chieh Huang
In Advanced-A and AA – 2.31 ERA, 58.1 innings, 78 SO, 23 BB’s, .181 BAA
The corresponding move with this trade was to designated Jorge De La Rosa for Assignment. Diekman is a major upgrade from the former 37-year-old starter, and Diekman has experience in high leverage situations in the postseason from 2016 specifically. De La Rosa ends his Diamondbacks career by coming into 107 games in just over a season and a half.
Diekman is more of a power pitcher throwing his fastball (avg. 94.8 mph) 62.5% of the time and his slider the other 37.5% of the time. His fastball velocity has dropped a tick since 2014 where he peaked at 96.9 mph, but his K% is still at his career average.
Diekman has been equally effective against righties (.220 AVG) and lefties (.221 AVG) in his career, but this year he has been far better against righties (.186) than lefties (.273). McFarland is best against lefties and in long relief, and Chafin is slightly better against lefties (.227 SLG) as they slug less than righties (.308 SLG) but hit for the same average (.194 AVG on both sides).
The Diamondbacks now have a good mix of lefties with Diekman, Chafin, and McFarland coming in as the power arm of the bunch.
D-Backs Receive Brad Ziegler
3.98 ERA, 52 innings, 37 SO, 17 BB’s, .254 BAA, 10 out of 11 saves
Marlins Receive Tommy Eveld
At Advanced A and AA – 1.11 ERA, 40.2 innings, 47 SO, 8 BB’s, .203 BAA, 13 out of 15 saves
The Diamondbacks welcome back a very friendly face and at a low cost. Ziegler is a ground ball machine and his ground ball rate is at 74% this year. His career average is 66.7%. His K and BB rates are slightly above his career averages too. After a rough 2017 and start to 2018, Ziegler has bounced back since the start of June with a .64 ERA since then. 3 million of his 9 million dollar salary will be paid by the Diamondbacks, but the Diamondbacks know exactly what they are getting from Ziegler at the expensive of an older prospect (Eveld is 24) who is just starting to figure it out.
Diamondbacks receive Eduardo Escobar
.274 BA, .852 OPS, 37 Doubles, 15 HR’s
Twins receive Jhoan Duran, Gabriel Maciel, Ernie De La Trinidad
While this looks like a steal, these three lower-level prospects all have some good potential considering they weren’t in the top 10 prospect rankings for the D-Backs.
Duran, 20 years old, has a good fastball that grades out to a 65 on the 80 scouting scale, but he has been touched up a bit in A ball giving up 28 BB’s and .268 BAA. His first start in the Twins organization gave up no hits and just one walk in seven innings with 8 K’s on Monday though.
Maciel, 19 years old, is also at the A level, and he is enjoying a solid year batting .287 with 14 stolen bases. Maciel is a good defender with great natural speed, but his bat is going to need to continue on his rise through the minors. He only has one homer and 10 doubles on the year which is good for .333 slugging percentage. His contact skills, speed, and defense will be his calling card.
De La Trinidad, 22 years old and a Phoenix native out of Moutain Pointe HS, has done nothing but hit his first two pro summers. Even with a smaller frame at 5’9″, 165 lbs, he was given a chance in the 19th round last year after an impressive career at UNLV, and he has hit .309 with 14 homers and 86 RBI’s in 143 games across three levels. His strikeout and walks rates are pretty impressive too with 67 walks to just 85 strikeouts.
The farm system lost some good depth and potential especially in Maciel, but Escobar is needed especially with Jake Lamb hurt again. Escobar isn’t going to have the same offensive impact as JD last year, but his defensive versatility and league-leading 38 doubles will be imperative to stay in contention. Escobar is in the middle of his second breakout season and going into free agency, so the front office will consider bringing him back in the winter depending on his performance and asking price.