Mets closer Edwin Diaz must return to an elite closer level
Mets closer Edwin Diaz remains questionable. His 2019 performance put him in the doghouse. The fantastic yet wasted rebound he made in 2020 won a few fans over. When he returned for his third season with the Mets in 2021, he was somewhere in the middle.
Thus far, in three seasons with the Mets, Diaz is now 9-14 with a 4.00 ERA and 64 saves. It’s not exactly the result you want from your last line of defense in the bullpen. Closers should have an ERA below 3.00—maybe stretching it to somewhere closer to 3.30 if you’re feeling generous. Anything higher and he probably has a few too many blown saves on his stat sheet for the season.
Before coming to New York, Diaz was coming off a season with the Seattle Mariners where he posted a 1.96 ERA and saved a league-best 57 games. He was eighth in the Cy Young voting that season as well.
Had the 2020 season been a full one, maybe he could have maintained his success. In his 26 games during the shortened campaign, Diaz did have a 1.75 ERA and over 17 strikeouts per nine innings. The biggest downside was how unimportant his success became as the Mets performed poorly as a team overall.
Every successful baseball team needs a closer they can count on. A bad year from Diaz could force the Mets to make a change in the closer spot. However, this also means they have one less bullpen arm they can turn to.
There are certain roles on the team that can underperform and the team can still win it all. Closer is not one of them.