Ginkel optioned to work on 'consistency'

September 12th, 2020

The D-backs optioned reliever Kevin Ginkel to their alternate training site in order to make room for Friday night’s starter, Caleb Smith.

The demotion of Ginkel was somewhat of a surprise given that he had been used in the closer’s role by manager Torey Lovullo after Archie Bradley was dealt on Aug. 31 to the Reds.

Ginkel had a great September last year when he was called to the big leagues for the first time and compiled a 1.48 ERA in 25 games.

But 2020 wasn’t as smooth for Ginkel, who allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Opening Day and was moved back from a setup role to middle relief.

Ginkel pitched better, though, and went 1-for-2 in save situations as the closer. After blowing a save Sept. 2 against the Dodgers, Lovullo said he still thought Ginkel pitched well.

Two nights later, Ginkel got the save against the Giants, but though he only allowed one earned run over his next three outings, Lovullo noticed a difference. And in those three games, Ginkel walked four batters.

“Over the past couple outings, we've noticed that fastball command was a little inconsistent,” Lovullo said. “Breaking balls just weren't getting the swing and miss, or were in the hitting zone. So as a group, we felt like it would be the best thing for him to go down, take a breath, and get back to the basics of what made him successful last year, and in what we've seen in spurts this year. So it's about consistency.”

In 16 innings this year, Ginkel has walked 13 and struck out 18.