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PhoulBallz.com Q&A With Jacob Diekman

Jacob Diekman was a 30th round draft selection by the Phillies in 2007. Currently the lowest draft pick on the class A Lakewood BlueClaws roster, Diekman is enjoying some solid success in the second half this season. Diekman began 2009 as a starting pitcher with Lakewood, but was moved to the bullpen after two shaky starts. Around the all star break this season, Diekman and pitching coach Bob Milacki changed Jacob's arm angle to more of a side arm delivery. Since the start of July, Diekman's ERA is 1.42 in 18 games pitched. I had the opportunity to interview Jacob last week and here is how that went down.


Jacob, how would you describe the differences in success, since the change of the arm angle?

I was right over the top before and now they switched me to a side arm, like a low 3-quarter...I'm liking it right now. I think it's an advantage for the pitcher, especially in relief and especially from the left side, because everything tales away. I feel like I have more control with everything too.


Do you have a preference with starting or relief work?

I like relieving a lot. I like starting too, just because you have more of a schedule, but your adrenaline starts pumping when they call down to the bullpen to start you warming up, so I like the bullpen a lot.


Is there any difference in your stamina since the switch with the arm angle?

Yeah, I get tired a lot more quickly. But, I just gotta focus. I can feel myself getting tired if I go more than two innings, that's about it.


Who is due the credit for the switch? Whose idea was it?

It was a joint decision. Bob (Milacki) has helped me out a lot. We've been working really really hard on just trying to control everything and just, like, repeat where my arm slot is.


There's been great success with the entire pitching staff overall lately. What do you think is attributable for the level of success?

We're just working really hard in our side work. If a guy doesn't pitch for 4 or 5 days, we're still throwing on the side and throwing before games and stuff like that. The bullpen takes their jobs really serious.


What are your feelings on being the lowest drafted player on the team and having success in the second half that would almost contradict your low draft spot?

Everybody got drafted for a reason. We all have a shot. You've just gotta make the most of it.


You collected baseball cards as a kid. What was your favorite card growing up?

Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card. I thought he was the greatest hitter of all time, growing up.


Was he your favorite player?

No.


Who was your favorite ball player?

Randy Johnson. He was just a big hard-throwing left hander and he was very intimidating.


If you could face any batter in baseball, who would it be?

Manny Ramirez. Yeah, he's just really loud in everything he does. (Don't like him.)


What ball park would you most like to pitch in some day?

Probably the Royals place, because it's like an hour and a half from home. That would be nice. The family could come out.

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