New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway isn’t committing to using Edwin Diaz as the closer down the stretch given his struggles to date.
New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz has not had the season that anyone expected. After collecting 57 saves with a 1.96 ERA last year with the Seattle Mariners, he has 24 saves and a 5.44 ERA in his first season in Queens.
He certainly has not been helped by his manager Mickey Callaway, who has overworked him all season and has a habit of using Diaz in non-save situations. But the fact remains that Diaz has struggled thus far.
As the Mets (3.0 games out of the Wild Card after Sunday’s win) attempt to claw back into the race, it seems Callaway is open to taking Diaz out of the closer role. Callaway, according to Alex Smith of SNY, chose not to commit to Diaz as the closer, saying:
“I don’t think anybody is locked into roles. I think we’re going to do whatever it takes to win, based on usage and things like that.”
While Callaway isn’t committing to keeping Diaz in the ninth, he also isn’t committing to taking him out. This is typical manager speak and Callaway makes no firm commitment.
Callaway did also point out that, despite Diaz giving up home runs in back-to-back outings (and three of his last four games), he feels Diaz has been pitching better and that the results will come.
“I like the way Diaz is throwing the ball. I understand that there’s been a homer in his last two outings, but he’s around the zone. He’s continuing to work on that narrower stance, and I do think he’s driving that ball downhill better.”
Some pressure could be put on Callaway to make a move thanks to the recent dominance of Seth Lugo, who was named July’s NL Reliever of the Month. He has not given up a run since June 29, pitching 13.1 scoreless innings.
However, Lugo’s versatility and ability to go multiple innings might lead Callaway to decide that he doesn’t want to lock him in as the designated closer. That should buy Diaz some more time to turn himself around.
Either way, both the Mets and Diaz will be hoping he pitches better over the course of the last two seasons.