2024 Mets outlook: Edwin Diaz expectations and predictions

Edwin Diaz significantly improves the Mets bullpen that dearly needed him last year.

Edwin Diaz (39) returns to the mound in 2024, and the Mets couldn't be any more thankful.
Edwin Diaz (39) returns to the mound in 2024, and the Mets couldn't be any more thankful. / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
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Sound the trumpets! Edwin Diaz is back! The New York Mets get baseball's premier closer back in 2024 after missing all of 2023 with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. And boy, could this be a welcome sight for the fans who didn't heart those trumpets at Citi Field last year (except for one acknowledgement during the Opening Day introductions).

When we last saw Edwin Diaz in a meaningful Mets game, it was in Game 3 of the Wild Card Series against the Padres in 2022, and allowed two inherited runners to score, putting a damper on what was a season for the ages. Diaz struck out half of the batters he faced, while opponents hit just .160 off of him.

This past year has been a long, grueling recovery for Diaz, so it will be interesting to see how he will do after his recovery.

New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz will return and pitch like one of the best closers in baseball in 2024.

For the moment, we can only base Diaz's progress (and our stat predictions for his 2024 season) through the eyes of social media. The videos that reporters and fans capture of Diaz getting ready for the season. So far, his delivery (shown at this link) is right where it needs to be, with his normal high kick of his right leg while winding up to pitch.

Then, what about his stuff, which includes perhaps the nastiest slider in the game? That, and his 100 mph fastball looked good too (seen here), which should excite fans.
Also, he took fielding drills on Tuesday down in Port St. Lucie for the first time since his surgery last year, perhaps the last major hurdle for Diaz before he sees a mound in a spring training game.

All of this comes into mind, and it will allow Diaz to dominate and bring fun back to Citi Field. His dominance can also mask any deficiencies the bullpen may have, which feels deeper and more talented this season. Whereas, last year, his injury exposed a big flaw in the Mets roster construction, the lack of depth in the bullpen.

Diaz's return may be one of the most underrated storylines throughout all of baseball this spring. There are fans that seem to look at the Mets as not a playoff team this year because they did not make a big splash in free agency like they did the past two winters.

2024 stat predictions: 2.50 ERA, 60 IP, 100 K, 35 saves, 0.95 WHIP

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