Mariners News: M’s Call-up Top Pitching Prospect, Edwin Diaz


The Mariners top pitching prospect will be in uniform for the first time tonight when the Mariners battle the Rangers in Arlington, TX.

The moment has finally arrived. According to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, Edwin Diaz will be called up to the big leagues prior to tonight’s game against the Texas Rangers. The 22-year-old right-hander represented the M’s at last season’s Futures Game, and is arguably the Seattle Mariners top overall prospect.

The hard-throwing youngster has made the successful transition from the Jackson Generals starting rotation to the bullpen, and he will get a chance to strut his stuff in the show. Cody Martin has been sent down to Tacoma to make room for Diaz on the Mariners 25-man roster.

The Puerto Rican native dazzled with the M’s Class-AA affiliate in Jackson this season, going 3-3 with a 2.21 ERA across 16 appearances (6 starts). Diaz struck out 54 and walked 7 through 40.2 innings of work prior to earning the promotion. He has limited the opposition to a .212 batting average and just 0.96 walks/hits per inning.

Since moving out to the bullpen, Diaz has been nearly unhittable. Across 10 appearances, he is 1-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA. Diaz has struck out 16 and walked 2 through 11.2 innings as a reliever. Those numbers are obviously ideal, and more than warranted a promotion to Seattle.

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The former third round pick split the 2015 season between the Bakersfield Blaze and the Jackson Generals. Diaz started the year in the California League, and he was hotter than a Southern California day. He went 2-0 with a stingy 1.70 ERA across 7 outings. Diaz fanned 42 and issued just 9 free passes in 37 innings pitched. He also limited the opposition to 0.811 walks/hits per inning.

Diaz’s remarkable performance in Bakersfield prompted the M’s to promote him to Jackson. Diaz pitched well with the Generals, but he was unable to duplicate the numbers he posted in the California League. He went 5-10 with Jackson, and registered a 4.57 ERA across 20 starts. He stuck out 103 and walked 37 through 104.1 innings.

Combined, Diaz went 7-10 with a 3.82 ERA in 27 starts last season. He led all Mariners’ minor-leaguers with 145 strikeouts in 2015, and placed 9th in all of minor-league baseball by averaging 9.2 strikeouts per 9 innings. He has excellent command of his arsenal, and he issued just 2.9 walks per 9 innings last year. Perhaps most impressive of all, Diaz limited the opposition to a dismal .237 batting average across 141.1 innings of work.

On the surface, Diaz has “future All-Star” written all over him. However, he is undersized for at 165 pounds, and some have questioned his ability to stay healthy over the course of a full season. Another issue is his lack of a third pitch. Diaz utilizes a remarkable fastball/slider combo, but his changeup is subpar at best.

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I fully expected Diaz to make his big league debut in 2016, but I am surprised Jerry Dipoto and his staff have decided to bypass the class-AAA level. Jumping from the Southern League to the big leagues will be a shock to Diaz’s system, and hopefully he is ready.

When Dipoto was hired, he preached how important being patient with prospects was going to be. Calling Diaz all the way up to Seattle seems to contradict his previous statements. Diaz has never even appeared in a spring training game for the Mariners, so this will be quite a jump for him.

Regardless of Diaz’s lack of experience, I am a big fan of this move. He has been downright dominant this season in Jackson, and he is the reigning Mariners Minor-League Starter of the Year. I expect Diaz to make his Mariners debut during this evening’s game against the Rangers.

Next: Marte and Martin Could be Back in M’s Lineup Next Week

Don’t be surprised if Edwin Diaz is used in important situations much the way youngsters Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna were used in recent seasons by the Toronto Blue Jays. This is an exciting day for Diaz and for Mariners fans. Hopefully we’ll be watching the next great M’s hurler throw his first pitches tonight. Go Mariners!