Three-out saves… oh, how much frustration they have caused me this season. While I fully understand that Diaz is currently exclusively a closer, what good is he if he can’t even do that?
Yet for some reason, Mickey Callaway was married to the concept that Diaz was only to pitch three-out saves, to the extent that he has taken Diaz out in extra innings, despite that the Mets’ bullpen was one of the worst in MLB with over 20 blown saves by the end of the season.
So what do you get when you have a young pitcher who keeps being put into the same situation over and over again? No positive change in performance exasperated by the effect that the situation has on a player’s mental game.
Because we all know the quote “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results” by Albert Einstein still has a great amount of truth to it.
Well, a possible solution for this issue last season would have been to put Diaz on the IL so he could play some games in Triple-A and work on his mental game to see if it would improve his performance. The Psychological aspect of baseball is particularly more important for young players, which was overlooked last season with Diaz.
Going into the future I think that putting Diaz in solely for three out saves is rather foolish. While I understand not wanting to overwork a player out of fear for possible injury, a player cannot prove that he can do well on the field again if they are not given a real opportunity to do so.
It is very easy for a closer like Diaz to lose his rhythm during a game when a few wild pitches are thrown because of the short duration he is put in versus a starting pitcher. This can cause a complete loss of mojo especially getting off such a breakthrough season where there was such a great amount of pressure put on the young pitcher.