The Top 5 Seattle Mariners of the 2018 Season… So Far
By Ty Gonzalez
1. RHP EDWIN DIAZ
2018 stats (as of 8/29/18): 50 SV / 1.97 ERA / 1.48 FIP / 0.78 WHIP / 15.19 K/9 / 3.3 fWAR
The 2018 season could very well end in a Cy Young award for Edwin Diaz. He’s just been that good. Diaz needs 13 saves over the final 29 games of the season to break Francisco Rodriguez’s single-season saves record – a feasible accomplishment considering how many one-run affairs the Mariners have had.
Scott Servais’ reluctance to consistently use Diaz outside of save situations may ultimately kill his Cy Young dreams, but his value to the Mariners is unmatched. Simply put, the Mariners would not be where they are with any other closer this season. The enormous success rate in one-run games is historical.
Jerry Dipoto’s decision to convert Diaz into a full-time reliever may rival the “Hanigura” deal as his greatest achievement in his tenure with the Mariners. Diaz has already become the best reliever in Major League Baseball and is just 24-years-old.
Like Wade LeBlanc and Dee Gordon, Diaz has not only performed on the field but has also molded this team into a family. Diaz’s “haircut bet” with Servais helps eliminate the disconnect most managers and their players have. It’s added a level of intrigue and incentive to Diaz’s saves, and the results were absolutely worth it.
Diaz is a key member of this organization presently and for years beyond. It’s hard to see him being even better than he’s been this season, but considering his age, it wouldn’t shock me.