Mariners Edwin Diaz Update: Early Spring Training And The WBC
Can Mariners closer Edwin Diaz build on his breakout rookie season? Early in this spring, it looks as though he will.
A year after taking the major leagues by storm Edwin Diaz enters this upcoming season as the Mariners full-time closer. This will become the new normal the Mariners coaching staff doesn’t believe will change anytime soon.
Last season, Diaz brought an excitement to the ninth inning, one the Mariners have lacked in seasons past.
If you like stats, well here you go, last season Diaz finished with a 2.79 ERA, 18 saves, 88 strikeouts over 51.2 innings, a WHIP of 1.16, and a 5.87 strikeout to walk ratio. Including becoming the fastest pitcher to reach 50 strikeouts in just 25.1 innings. He finished fifth in the AL rookie of the year voting.
Diaz did show some late season fatigue last season as he struggled to close out games. This is come to be expected from any rookie, hopefully, it doesn’t translate to a sophomore slump.
So far this spring training, Diaz has shown no signs of slowing down.
Over two one-inning outings so far this spring training he has yet to give up a run and has struck out a batter in each appearance.
Related Story: Edwin Diaz Will Be The Mariners Best Closer
Diaz, born in Naguabo, Puerto Rico, is now pitching for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. They have yet to play a game but Diaz is in line to be the team’s closer. The team’s first game will be Friday, March 10th at 6 PM PST against Felix Hernandez and Team Venezuela.
If Puerto Rico does not advance in the WBC the earliest Diaz could be back with the Mariners would be March 13th, the day after Puerto Rico’s final pool play game.
Diaz has been under the radar this spring training, much like last spring. Not much media attention has been paid to him which is probably a good thing.
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This allows him to just focus on this upcoming season with no distractions and no expectations placed on him by the media.
Diaz will turn 23 years young in two weeks on March 22nd making him one of the youngest closers in the majors. The young, hard-throwing righty has all the potential in the world to be a great closer.
Diaz headlines a loaded bullpen for this upcoming season. Few questions have been raised about the Mariners bullpen after the overhaul General Manager, Jerry Dipoto made over the past year.
I will personally miss another hard-throwing reliever Arquimedes Caminero, but that’s just me. The Mariners still have plenty of talented young arms in that bullpen, though, like Thyago Vieira, and veterans such as Nick Vincent.
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If Diaz can provide the spark he did when he first came to the big leagues all season long, then the Mariners should have no problem getting to the playoffs.