The Oakland A’s bullpen was a buzzsaw during the 2020 regular season. Two of their relievers have been recognized for that success.
And then there were two.
The Oakland A’s originally had four players named as candidates for the 2020 All MLB Team. Relievers Jake Diekman and Liam Hendriks, catcher Sean Murphy, and starter Chris Bassitt were named as options for that honor.
Now that voting has moved on to the finals, only two members of the A’s remain in the hunt. Both Diekman and Hendriks have advanced to the finals, two of the six relievers so chosen.
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It is understandable as to why they would have been selected. Hendriks continued his ascension as one of the best relievers in baseball, taking home the AL Reliever of the Year award in 2020. He posted an impressive 1.78 ERA and a 0.671 WHiP, with his 14 saves ranking second in the majors. He struck out 37 batters with just three walks in 25.1 innings, allowing only one homer.
Diekman, meanwhile, was virtually unhittable all season. He posted a 0.42 ERA and 0.938 WHiP in his 21.2 innings, allowing just eight hits all year. Diekman allowed two runs in total, with only one earned, while striking out 31 batters. The lefty was a key part of the A’s success, even notching the save in Game Two of the Wild Card Round.
Both pitchers have a tough road ahead. They have some impressive competition with Nick Anderson, Brad Hand, Alex Colome, and Devin Williams also nominated. Only two of those six will be named as the relievers for the 2020 All MLB squad.
It is possible that the Oakland A’s could land both relievers. Both Liam Hendriks and Jake Diekman would be deserving of such an honor.