After his latest ninth-inning blowup, New York Mets‘ closer Edwin Diaz might be in danger of losing the title, after manager Luis Rojas said after Thursday’s game that “we need to talk” about possibly removing him from the role.
Diaz, who came to the New York Mets before the start of last season alongside Robinson Cano from the Seattle Mariners, keeps struggling to find the strike zone and shows a perplexing inability to miss bats with his high-90s heater.
If you look at the numbers, Diaz’s last appearance on Thursday against the Red Sox wasn’t a complete disaster, as he struck out one batter while allowing one earned run on one hit and two walks. But it was the last inning, the Mets lost, and it has been a recurring occurrence.
Will the Mets make a change?
Put in context, Diaz retired just one of the five batters he faced, and that ain’t going to cut it. “We need to talk,” Rojas said. “That’s something that we’re going to do as a staff, me as the manager, and we’ll talk with the player. We want to keep him on track to what he showed us in camp that he didn’t show tonight. It’s something that, from our coaching standpoint, we’ve got to detect right away and just work on it, fix it quick. Because we liked what we saw in the first two camps and what we saw earlier in the season. Tonight was definitely different.”
This season, Diaz has handed three free passes in 2.1 innings, for a 11.57 BB/9. He has a 7.71 ERA and a blown save, and last season, he had seven of those.
“Different Díaz than what I saw [in the] first camp,” Rojas said to MLB.com. “Different Díaz than what I saw in camp now, and then what I saw the first two outings. Arm-side misses, pulling the ball, slider backing up. Not the same Díaz we’ve seen recently.”
If the Mets do decided to remove Diaz from closing duties, they may have several candidates to replace him. The most natural one is Jeurys Familia (4.91 ERA, 2.26 FIP in 2020,) but Seth Lugo, Justin Wilson and Dellin Betances could also be options.