Lefty reliever Jake Diekman pitched another spotless inning Wednesday after receiving word that he was named to the AFL Rising Stars game.
Beerleaguer: Earlier in the week I half joked that Diekman has a better shot at the Majors than many of the Phillies’ alleged top prospects, and I said that forgetting a critical factor that could expedite his ascent even more. If the Phils leave Diekman exposed to next month’s Rule 5 draft, the left-hander will surely get taken.
Since it’s much easier to stash an inexperienced player in the back of the bullpen than it is to burn a spot on the bench (with the exception of a utilityman like Michael Martinez), bullpen help has arguably become the best and “safest” way to use a Rule 5 pick. On top of that, everyone knows how lefty relievers have the fastest track to the Majors anyway. Diekman went 0-1 with three saves and a 3.05 ERA in 53 appearances for Reading this season and has allowed just one hit in 8 1-3 innings in the AFL. Diekman was named to the East roster of Saturday’s AFL All-Star game.
Prospects meriting protection form the Rule 5 Draft include right-handers BJ Rosenberg and Tyler Cloyd; both have pedigrees similar to David Herndon and could generate interest as bullpen candidates. But I don’t see teams making a run at Cody Overbeck, who doesn’t have a position, similar to how teams skipped on Matt Rizzotti last season. Positionless, Quad-A thumpers are a dime a dozen. Tyson Gilles is also eligible, but there’s no way a team burns a roster spot on him.
The Phillies' 40-man roster is at 32.