DALLAS – Root for a lot of strikeouts this season from Rangers reliever Jake Diekman.
The southpaw is donating $100 for each strikeout he records this season to his Gut It Out Foundation, which aims at increasing awareness and improving care for irritable bowel disease.
The donations will go toward the foundation’s pediatric IBD grants, according to an Instagram post announcing the performance-based fundraiser Wednesday, the day before Opening Day.
This season I'm pledging $100 for every strikeout I earn to benefit the #GutItOut Foundation’s @gutitout pediatric IBD grants. I hope you'll consider pledging w/ me for the chance to receive exclusive #GutItOut sweatpants, game tickets & more. Pledge today at pledgeit.org/gutitout
A post shared by Jake Diekman (@jakediekman41) on
Diekman came into Spring Training this season healthy after missing a majority of the 2017 season following surgery for ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease he’s battled since he was 10 years old.
“Compared to last year I feel unbelievable,” he said at the start of camp in Surprise, Arizona. “I’m actually healthy, I’m ready to go. I feel great.”
He had surgery in January of last year and didn’t pitch in the big leagues until Sept. 1. He allowed just four hits in 11 relief outings, surrendering a run in just one appearance (in which he allowed three).
In his last full season in 2016, Diekman struck out 59 batters in 66 innings.
Diekman, 31, has been vocal about his battle with UC during his time as a Ranger. He hosts meet-and-greet sessions on the road – what he calls a “traveling support group” – to inspire those in the IBD community.