Breaking News: D-backs’ Star Kevin Ginkel Addresses Fans’ Demand Amid Performance Concerns…

Breaking News: D-backs’ Star Kevin Ginkel Addresses Fans’ Demand Amid Performance Concerns…

Diamondbacks setup man Kevin Ginkel has acknowledged that his recent performances have not met his expectations, but he and Arizona’s pitching coaches have pinpointed a mechanical issue to work on.

Ginkel has allowed runs in three of his last four outings, surrendering eighth-inning leads on Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles and Monday against the Cincinnati Reds.

The right-hander emerged as a breakout star for the D-backs in the second half of last season, stepping into a high-leverage role with closer Paul Sewald sidelined for the first six weeks of 2024 due to an oblique strain. Despite recent struggles, Manager Torey Lovullo stated there are no plans to remove Ginkel from his high-leverage spot.

“What I’ve been seeing is that when I land, my front foot doesn’t stay anchored to the ground. So when I land on my foot with all that force, the energy kind of goes into my toes right away. So I lose a lot of momentum going toward home,” Ginkel explained to Arizona Sports. “I’ve been working on trying to stay anchored. When my front foot lands, keep it grounded and then drive forward instead of hopping out of it. I’ve always had that in my career, that weird recoil … but I’m just not transferring my weight and energy as properly as I’d like. … I think that’s going to help my stuff.”

Pitching coach Brent Strom analyzed video footage immediately after Monday’s game to identify what was hindering Ginkel’s performance. The following day, Strom briefed Lovullo on necessary adjustments to Ginkel’s front side and landing mechanics.

Last year, Ginkel boasted a 2.48 ERA with a 27.5% strikeout rate. This season, his ERA has risen to 4.15, with a strikeout rate of 21.6%, despite a reduction in walks. His fastball has been hit harder, with a 94.4 mph exit velocity, though Ginkel has only pitched 17.1 innings so far.

“It’s kind of one of those weird things where it’s like, the games I’ve had have bundled together,” Ginkel said. “If I had one bad one and then the next couple were good, it’s no big deal. But just the last few games, it hasn’t gone results-wise the way I wanted to. We’ll be OK. It is a long season. I can’t get too bent out of shape over this. It’ll get better.”

The State of the Diamondbacks’ Bullpen

Paul Sewald has returned to his role, earning his first home save on Wednesday against the Reds. Ryan Thompson has been stellar, posting a 1.00 ERA this season and a 0.87 ERA since joining the Diamondbacks last year.

Justin Martinez has also emerged as a higher-leverage option recently, racking up 16 strikeouts in 12.2 innings with a 0.71 ERA.

“We want to be careful with Justin. It’s a young body and a young mind, and it’s just my sense that when I feel like it’s time to run, he’s gonna run, but I want to manage him the best way I can,” Lovullo said. “He is on the right trajectory and I don’t want that to go backwards…. We’re going to enjoy the ride with him. He’s going to tell us when that time is, and I don’t want to do it too quick, too soon.”

The Diamondbacks’ bullpen success at the end of 2023 relied on the effectiveness of their top three relievers to shorten games.

Ginkel has had some restless nights lately but remains optimistic. Having endured injuries, being optioned, and getting designated for assignment, he understands the challenges of the role.

“Things will get better, so I’m not too concerned. I’m just anxious to get back out there,” Ginkel said.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.