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Edwin Diaz’s future as Mets closer is “fluid,” amid recent poor outings

In Sports
May 20, 2024

Two seasons ago, New York Mets reliever Edwin Diaz was one of the best closers in baseball. His entrance from the bullpen at Citi Field, accompanied by “Narco” and the song’s powerful trumpets, electrified the crowd as the team won 101 games.

It’s been a different story for Diaz in 2024. Coming back from a torn patellar tendon in his right knee that sidelined him for all of the 2023 season, the right-hander has had several rough outings on the mound. In his past three appearances, Diaz has allowed seven runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.

That performance has shaken the reliever’s confidence to the point where Mets manager Carlos Mendoza told reporters that Diaz’s role as the closer would be “fluid.”

After he was pummeled for four runs and four hits in just 1/3 of an inning against the Miami Marlins on Saturday, Diaz was overcome by emotion once he was finished answering postgame questions and reporters left the clubhouse.

“When we were done with the postgame scrum, he sat down and all the emotion just came out,” reporter Steve Gelbs said on Sunday’s SNY pregame show. “He put his head in his hands and he started crying. Francisco Lindor had to come over and console him.”

Diaz told reporters that he was open to being moved out of the closer role and needs to regain his confidence amid his struggles.

“I won’t lie, my confidence I feel is down right now,” Diaz said, via the AP’s Alanis Thames. “I’m making pitches. I’m throwing strikes. I’m trying to do my best to help the team to win. Right now, I’m not in that capacity.”

Between that admission and Diaz’s display of emotion, Mendoza is apparently looking for a reset by taking some of the pressure off his closer by pitching in non-save situations.

“Right now, he’s going through it, he’s going through a rough stretch,” Mendoza told reporters, including SNY’s Alex Smith. “Our job is to get him back on track. He’ll do whatever it takes to help this team win a baseball game, whether that’s pitching in the seventh, the eighth, the ninth, whenever that is, losing or winning.”

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