PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 03: Edwin Diaz #39 of the New York Mets and Wilson Ramos #40 of the New York Mets celebrates after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 3, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Following his terrible performance for the New York Mets in 2019, Edwin Diaz has been working hard on flipping the script in 2020.

After the New York Mets completed a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Mariners in 2018, the world expected big things from Edwin Diaz during his first season in Queens.

Unfortunately, Diaz failed to live up to his expectations and recorded the worst performance of his entire career, ultimately losing his closer’s role to Seth Lugo by the end of the season.

In an attempt to avoid his struggles from continuing in 2020, the right-hander had been working very hard this past offseason, seeking advice on his breaking ball from Hall-of-Famer Pedro Martinez. Luckily, he’s been able to continue his offseason program during Major League Baseball’s hiatus.

On Thursday, Diaz posted a pair of videos on Twitter from a practice field in Puerto Rico, showcasing his high-80s slider and high-90s four-seamer.

While Diaz didn’t share the velocity on his fastball, based on the reactions in the video, it seems like he hasn’t lost any speed on his four-seamer.

During his first season with the Mets, Diaz produced a miserable 5.59 ERA, 4.51 FIP, 3.07 xFIP, 1.38 WHIP, .254 OPP AVG, 8.7% walk rate, 26.8% HR/FB rate, 48.1% hard-hit rate and a 0.0 fWAR over his 58 innings pitched.

In particular, commanding his fastball and slider became a huge problem for Diaz last season. After dominating with both those pitches in 2018, the hard-throwing hurler failed to replicate his stellar results with each of them during the 2019 campaign.

Overall, Diaz utilized his four-seamer 65.8% and allowed a .436 SLG, .339 xSLG, .325 wOBA, 7.5% barrel rate, 47.5% hard-hit rate, 9.4% walk rate, 28.8% LD rate and a 30% FB rate against it last season.

As for his slider, the 26-year-old hurler threw it 33.9% of the time and surrendered a .297 AVG, .622 SLG, .403 xSLG, .387 wOBA, 14.9% barrel rate, 42.6% hard-hit rate, 27.7% LD rate and a  29.8% FB rate against it in 2019.

When and if baseball returns this summer, the Mets will need Diaz to improve the command of his pitches and he must return to his dominating form. If successful, he’ll likely regain the trust of New York’s coaching staff, allowing him to earn closing opportunities once again this season.

In a shortened season, anything can happen. If the Mets want to have any hope of making a run at the 2020 World Series, they’ll need Diaz to be at his best.

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