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Mets reliever Edwin Diaz could have some challengers for the closer job

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Edwin Diaz #39 of the New York Mets celebrates after the Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 2-0 on Opening Day at Nationals Park on March 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Edwin Diaz #39 of the New York Mets celebrates after the Mets defeated the Washington Nationals 2-0 on Opening Day at Nationals Park on March 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 08: Edwin Diaz #39 of the New York Mets in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citi Field on September 8, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

The Case for Edwin Diaz

While he struggled in his debut season for the Mets, Edwin Diaz has a lot of natural ability, as he demonstrated in his 2018 campaign where he had one of the best seasons as a closer in MLB history.

Despite his issues in 2019, he still managed to save 26 games for the Mets and was one of the league leaders in strikeouts among relievers. His main issue was giving up the long ball, which he gave up a career-high 15 times last season.

Despite these issues in last season, Diaz will likely enter Spring Training slotted as the closer, with it being his spot to lose. If he regains his old form, or at the very least is a more consistent pitcher, than this debate hopefully should be over.

Diaz attributes this to an issue with his slider, which was one of his knock out pitches in 2018 but was flat in his debut season for the Mets and commonly hung over the plate, which led to his increased home runs allowed.

Now that he has had a season to recover from any nagging injuries and believed he found the cause of his second-half struggles, hopefully, he’s taken steps to mitigate these issues in 2020, New York hopefully will have the closer that they thought they originally traded for.

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