New York Mets: Edwin Diaz talks early-season struggles

New York Mets, Edwin Diaz

Across his three appearances in the 2020 MLB season (2.1 innings), New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz has surrendered two earned runs, two hits, three walks and a home run, which equates to a 7.71 ERA, a 9.53 FIP and a 2.14 WHIP. He has converted one of two save opportunities.

Diaz appeared in back-to-back games against the Atlanta Braves to begin the season (July 24 and 25). He then didn’t make an appearance out of the bullpen until July 30 against the Boston Red Sox, where he threw 35 pitches and got just one out.

Diaz feels that not throwing for five days affected his mechanics (quotes per Mike Puma of the New York Post).

“It had been five days since I last threw, so I felt I didn’t have my mechanics in order,” Diaz said before the Mets suffered a crushing 11-10 loss to the Braves. “I felt like my body just wasn’t in sync and I felt like I was trying to overpower the pitches too much at that point.

“Five days without pitching isn’t the same when you are more and more accustomed to pitching three days in a row or sometimes one day and then two days after. It’s a little bit different when you have that much of a layoff.”

Even if Mets manager Luis Rojas makes a switch in the late innings, Diaz simply wants to “pitch more frequently.”

“I’m open to pitching whenever, so that doesn’t matter to me,” Diaz said. “It’s just one of those things where I would like to pitch more frequently as opposed to having those longer layoffs.”

Despite his early-season struggles, Diaz feels he has the “stuff to be a closer.”

“I feel like I have the stuff to be a closer,” Diaz said. “I have proven over the last four or five years that I have the stuff and I can be the closer because I have done it before. Whether it’s here or wherever I think I am a closer.”

Diaz is in his second season with the Mets, who are 3-6. The right-hander recorded a 5.59 ERA, a 4.51 FIP and a 1.38 WHIP in 2019.