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Relievers Are Inherently Fungible Newsbeat

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

How closer Edwin Diaz went from MLB saves leader to bullpen liability

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With each hit, walk, and homer, the aura of invincibility that once surrounded Edwin Diaz has eroded, turning a former relief ace into a giant question mark.

When the New York Mets acquired Diaz last December, team officials boasted about the acquisition. Nine months later, it looks like they made the mistake of buying high off one elite season, failing to recognize the volatility that defines relief pitching.

Diaz, who saved 57 games in 2018, is no longer superhuman. He’s quite vulnerable. The Mets know it. Opponents know it. And, fans at Citi Field and in road stadiums know it, too.

Sources tell Yahoo Sports that Diaz has been affected by the boos that come with failing in New York, but that doesn’t tell the whole story of how a reliever with his stuff goes from elite closer to owning a 5.32 ERA in the middle of August.

And the Never-Ending Story repeats itself one more time….

 

QLE Posted: August 20, 2019 at 04:29 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: edwin diaz, mets being mets, relievers are inherently fungible

Sunday, August 18, 2019

This year’s crop of major free-agent relievers has been a $250 million disaster

If any fans feel annoyed this offseason about their team not spending to strengthen the bullpen, they might want to look at what is happening this year across Major League Baseball.

A long rehab for Philadelphia Phillies reliever David Robertson got much longer on Saturday as the 34-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery. The dreaded surgery will cost Robertson, who went on the injured list back in May, the rest of 2019 and likely the entire 2020 season as well.

Robertson signed a two-year, $23 million contract with Philadelphia in free agency last offseason, and now it looks like he’s going to spend all but a month of his Phillies tenure on the injured list. In that month, he had a 5.40 ERA. The Phillies didn’t exactly get great value there.

What’s so sad about Robertson’s turmoil is that up to 2019, he was as steady a reliever as you could find in baseball. In the decade preceding this season, Robertson posted an ERA above 3.50 just once in 10 seasons. He posted fewer than 60 innings just once in 10 seasons. He posted a K/9 above 10 in all 10 seasons, moving between set-up duties and closing.

Would that I could explain why this fact seems to keep surprising so many people…..

 


 

 

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