Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

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) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: edwin diaz, mets being mets, relievers are inherently fungible

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. puck Posted: August 20, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5872833)
Wade Davis, too.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 20, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5872840)
Wade Davis, too.

Davis has been declining for 4 years. Diaz fell off a cliff.

It's pretty much all HR rate, too. His xFIP is 3.30. I'd imagine if he wasn't giving up a HR every 4 IP, his BB-rate would be much lower.
   3. JJ1986 Posted: August 20, 2019 at 10:50 AM (#5872843)
His control looked alright earlier in the season, but lately it seems like he has no idea where the ball is going. Everything is sailing on him and sometimes he misses by feet when he has to throw a strike.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 20, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5872847)
His control looked alright earlier in the season, but lately it seems like he has no idea where the ball is going. Everything is sailing on him and sometimes he misses by feet when he has to throw a strike.

Yup. 1st half 2.9 BB/9, 2nd half 5.5 BB/9.
   5. Lassus Posted: August 20, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5872849)
Looking at the sidebar, "unwatchable" is a good Diaz description for Mets fans.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 20, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5872866)
With each hit, walk, and homer, the aura of invincibility that once surrounded Edwin Diaz has eroded,
Yes, these days he seems to be getting vinced quite easily and regularly.
   7. Spahn Insane Posted: August 20, 2019 at 11:52 AM (#5872876)
Yes, these days he seems to be getting vinced quite easily and regularly.

He needs to watch it. First, the vincing--then comes the funging.
   8. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: August 20, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5872880)
Hitters against Josh Hader before asb: 106/.187/.291

Hitters against Josh Hader after asb: .288/.354/.661 6 dingers out of 17 hits

sample size stuff applies obviously.

Still kind of alarming
   9. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 20, 2019 at 12:37 PM (#5872894)
Hader should've never participated in that home run derby.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 20, 2019 at 01:01 PM (#5872898)
Seems like he still is participating.
   11. ajnrules Posted: August 20, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5872906)
Let's not forget Jose Leclerc, who seemed to be the Rangers closer of the future

2018: 1.56 ERA, 0.850 WHIP, 3.40 K/BB
2019: 4.27 ERA, 1.253 WHIP, 2.75 K/BB
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 20, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5872914)
Let's not forget Jose Leclerc, who seemed to be the Rangers closer of the future


The biggest problem with Leclerc is that his command sucks and there are at least a couple months a year where he just straight-up can't throw strikes.
   13. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: August 20, 2019 at 01:48 PM (#5872918)
That is the thing about pitching so few innings. A guy like Derrick Turnblow (wrong spelling intentional) can look pretty good before his real self kicks back in and teams get fooled that the guy who was not himself for a little while will return to not being himself instead of realizing to be glad for what they got and finding someone else.
   14. Bote Man Posted: August 20, 2019 at 03:23 PM (#5872950)
Somebody tweeted about one of the late games last night, that a position player was pitching the 9th inning and struck out the side 1-2-3. Maybe teams have the wrong guys in the bullpen??
   15. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 20, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5872951)
Leclerc's only 25 so there's still plenty of time for him to get DFA'd once or twice, bounce around getting Spring Training NRI's trying to catch on anywhere, spend a season or two in the KBO, then come back and have another year or two of sub-2 ERA's in MLB.

Such is the nature of today's pitching "stars."
   16. bfan Posted: August 20, 2019 at 05:47 PM (#5872992)
Interesting to realize that (mainly because of Alonso, I think) if Diaz and Cano 2019 had replicated Diaz and Cano of 2018, the Mets would be right in the thick of at least the WC. That trade was supposed to feel very good for the Mets in 2019 and only start to hurt in 2021 when the prospects they dealt for Diaz/Cano hit MLB.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: August 20, 2019 at 05:51 PM (#5872994)
Relievers are volatile -- but of course that volatility is as likely to mean that Diaz is just temporarily terrible as it is that he was temporarily excellent. But mainly on want to pick on the excerpt's misleading "one elite season" tag. In 191 innings in Seattle, he had a 2.64 ERA, 2.56 FIP, 14.2 K/9 for an ERA+ of 156. In one of those "seasons" he did have a bit of an HR problem but otherwise the guy was pretty flawless for three "seasons." His other peripherals this year are pretty good and given the big HR outburst it's at least possible that there's a single tendency (a pitch, a location, whatever) that fits right into the wheelhouse of the launch angle hitter that needs fixing/removing. The big jump in walks might be the result of trying to avoid that or at least pitch around the type of hitter he's having trouble with. Or it might just be a loss command. :-)

Anyway it is a really bad season and 2.1 HR/9 is likely to be more than a fluke so it seems unlikely he'll bounce back to that peak.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: August 20, 2019 at 06:00 PM (#5872997)
On the other hand, this sort of thing happens to SPs all the time without people freaking out quite so badly. Through May 12, Lester had 39 IP and an ERA of 1.16. Over his next 12 starts, Lester threw 68 innings with about 2 HR/9 and a 5.40 ERA on a line of 305/345/532 ... you don't see us Cub fans panicking ... well, not about that at least, we've got our own bullpen meltdowns to freak out over.

Lester then followed that with 7 shutout innings ... then 5 runs in 5 innings ... then Joe decided he had nothing better to do than watch Lester burn and he gave up 11 runs in 4 innings (that does wonders for the ERA) ... then a not particularly good 3 runs in 5 innings ... then 6 shutout innings. Baseball is a funny game, especially on the mound.
   19. Zonk Will Have the Chicken Kiev Posted: August 20, 2019 at 08:12 PM (#5873020)
Diaz's out pitch is (was?) a dominant slider, no?

Those guys combust so often that man...

I remember Carlos Marmol at his peak and I think he was still the most consistently unhittable guy I ever watched. When he was striking out everyone, his slider was just untouchable, always perfectly looking like a belt high fastball then darting off the plate. I used to wonder why anyone bothered swinging because you'd be better off just hoping for 4 balls in a PA.

Then, of course... whether he lost his touch, too many batters started doing precisely that, or most likely - a combination of both - he was org fodder before he was 30...

Diaz never walked the guys Marmol did of course.... but beware ace relievers with wipeout sliders.

Unless I'm wrong about Diaz's repertoire - then forget everything I just said!
   20. DFA Posted: August 22, 2019 at 12:15 AM (#5873355)
I'm waiting for modern analytics to conquer the fickle nature of the relief pitcher.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Mike Emeigh
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogCubs are living to regret Craig Kimbrel's $43 million contract
(27 - 8:38pm, Sep 22)
Last: Tin Angel

NewsblogPadres fire manager Andy Green; communication issues cited
(7 - 8:35pm, Sep 22)
Last: My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected

NewsblogIn first, Israel qualifies for Olympic games in baseball
(1 - 8:30pm, Sep 22)
Last: My name is RMc and I feel extremely affected

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (September 2019)
(190 - 8:20pm, Sep 22)
Last: Omineca Greg

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - A New Season is Upon Baldrick
(872 - 8:14pm, Sep 22)
Last: AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the weekend of September 21-22, 2019
(233 - 7:57pm, Sep 22)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

Gonfalon CubsApproaching the Finish Line
(86 - 7:44pm, Sep 22)
Last: Walks Clog Up the Bases

NewsblogAubrey Huff, Seth McClung feuding on Twitter
(6 - 6:55pm, Sep 22)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogKC Royals’ Danny Duffy talks bullying, anxiety, depression | The Kansas City Star
(46 - 6:53pm, Sep 22)
Last: Omineca Greg

NewsblogJoe West ejects Yankees’ Boone amid clash with rookie ump
(18 - 6:53pm, Sep 22)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogOT - August/September 2019 College Football thread
(423 - 6:00pm, Sep 22)
Last: it's hittin' 53450n.

NewsblogHow did World Series champions who missed the subsequent postseason respond the year after?
(8 - 5:15pm, Sep 22)
Last: QLE

NewsblogHall of Fame manager Tony La Russa remaining with Red Sox
(7 - 3:50pm, Sep 22)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogAlonso slugs 50th, now 2 away from Judge's mark
(6 - 11:57am, Sep 22)
Last: Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens

NewsblogWhat’s the best WEIRD baseball video game ever?
(13 - 2:39am, Sep 22)
Last: winnipegwhip

Page rendered in 0.3437 seconds
46 querie(s) executed