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Mets need closer Edwin Diaz to be a positive difference maker in 2021

Sep 5, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 5, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
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Most New York Mets fans trust Edwin Diaz about as far as they can throw him. His tremendously awful 2019 campaign destroyed any faith many have that he’ll ever be as awesome as he was with the Seattle Mariners back in 2018. Fortunately, Diaz is young and appeared to turn things around in 2020.

Although he pitched in far less games and innings, Diaz went from a 5.59 ERA in 2019 down to a 1.75 ERA in 2020. Imperfect at times, the numbers don’t lie. Diaz was much closer to elite closer he was prior to joining the Mets.

In 2020 and even beyond, the Mets are going to need him to perform at that level.

Mets need Edwin Diaz’s best more than ever considering the current state of the bullpen

The Mets neglected to make any real noise this winter in regards to building their bullpen. Trevor May and Aaron Loup are the two biggest additions. Meanwhile, we’ll all have to hope and pray Dellin Betances and Jeurys Familia are able to get outs a little more consistently.

The loss of Seth Lugo for the beginning of the year will do some damage to the Mets. I expect a carousel of reliever pitchers at some point early on in the year as the club attempts to determine which fringe major leaguer is the best fit for them this year.

With all of these questions about the bullpen and whatnot, it’s essential there’s no question about the closer. The Mets are going to score runs. Their starting pitchers should also hold them in games. It’s those innings between the starter and the final out we have to question.

Where do the Mets turn if Edwin Diaz stinks?

On paper, it might seem as if the Mets have a lot of options for the closer role if Diaz is a dud. Betances and Familia each have closer experience—the latter far more and with this organization. May is another option.

Making any chance would create a new issue. Who then bridges the game from the earlier innings to the ninth?

Diaz came to New York with the expectation that he was a sure thing. The Mets gave up a lot to get him and for us to still question his abilities in year three is a problem, particularly with a less than stellar bullpen around him.

Next. Mets almost traded Zack Wheeler to the Yankees

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An excellent year from Diaz could completely turn the Mets’ fortunes around. Stability in the ninth could be the difference between October baseball and a season ending as scheduled.

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