Andrew Saalfrank: Diamondbacks' Stretch-Run Ace?


Andrew Saalfrank: Diamondbacks' Stretch-Run Ace?
Andrew Saalfrank: Diamondbacks' Stretch-Run Ace? © Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

In the landscape of Major League Baseball, where dominance is rarely a given, Andrew Saalfrank is making quite the impression. Since his call-up earlier this month, the rookie has showcased skills reminiscent of seasoned veterans, making many wonder if he's the key asset manager Torey Lovullo should be banking on.

Over the past two weeks, Andrew Saalfrank has magnificently marked his presence on the field, allowing a mere two runs in six major league outings. Compiling 7.2 innings of work, he boasts a pristine 0.00 ERA. It's no fluke either.

Before graduating to the majors, Andrew Saalfrank impressed in the minor leagues, accumulating a 3.04 ERA over 130.1 innings. Remarkably, in the 2023 season, he even trimmed this down to 2.53 over 64 innings.

Andrew Saalfrank's Undeniable Diamondback Impact

Selected as the 182nd overall pick by the Diamondbacks in the 2019 draft, Andrew Saalfrank's talent and potential have never been in doubt.

This was evident in the recent game against the Giants. Entrusted with the ball in the seventh, the rookie faced down the competition, permitting just one walk without conceding hits or runs. This is fast becoming the Andrew Saalfrank trademark - stepping into pressure-cooker situations and emerging unscathed.

But where does Andrew Saalfrank's value truly lie for the Diamondbacks? The MLB's changing dynamics suggest he needn't be confined to extended innings. Instead, he could redefine the role of the setup man. New rules emphasize the value of pitchers who can win critical matchups over a single inning.

The old playbook, which often saw specialists subbed in for specific scenarios, like setting up for a left-handed batter, is evolving. This makes talents like Andrew Saalfrank more crucial than ever. He possesses the unique ability to halt rival offenses, paving the way for closers like Kevin Ginkel to seal victories.

In a nutshell, as the season intensifies, the Diamondbacks might just have discovered their secret weapon in Andrew Saalfrank, a prodigious talent ready to reshape game strategies and deliver when it counts.


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