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Mets Have Options To Replace Diaz 

Edwin Diaz is having a pretty difficult stretch after his meltdown in Miami on Saturday. Diaz allowed 4 runs, to blow a 4 run ninth inning lead, which cost the Mets the game. After Diaz meltdown, his ERA increased to 5.50 and while his expected ERA is still very solid at 2.30, it’s time to move him from the closer’s role for a bit. 

I fully expect Diaz to return to the closer’s role and perform well enough to stay there. If you look deeper into the numbers, there is still much to like about Diaz. His 2.30 Expected ERA is still good. Diaz still doesn’t allow a lot of hard-hit contact as his average exit velo against, is amongst baseball’s best. The only blemish is walk and barrel rate, showing his control is off at times and he allows his fair share of Barrels, which leads to homers. Right now, Diaz is in the middle of a stretch that haunts him. I do expect him, with a little break out of the closer’s role, his confidence returning. 

In the absence of Diaz as the Mets closer, the Mets have four arms to depend on. It’s the four arms we all know as their high leverage arms to set up Diaz.  

Reed Garrett: 

Reed Garrett got the save on Sunday, going 2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts. His splitter was back working after a couple of mediocre outings. Garrett lowered his ERA to 0.72 over 25 innings. In those 25 innings, the 31-year-old journeyman rightly struck out 41. 

Garrett is amongst baseball’s best in many statistics. His expected ERA stands at 1.75, his hard-hit rates are tremendous, and he gets a ton of strikeouts and whiffs. In an earlier article, I wrote about Garrett, his success and the reasons haven’t changed. 

Baseball’s Breakout Reliever Stays on Point in Mets win over Cubs – The MLB Report 

Adam Ottavino: 

The more experienced high leverage reliever in the Mets bullpen is Adam Ottavino. The 38-year-old is having another strong season with a 2.95 ERA over 18.1 innings, with a 0.93 WHIP (lower than Garrett). Like Garrett, Ottavino his expected ERA is very good at 2.13 and his average exit velo against, is amongst baseball’s best at 82.9mph on average. Ottavino also strikes out a lot of hitters and gets a ton of ground balls. 

Overall, it’s been a very good season for Ottavino, but there is always that one thing in his game. Opponents have an easy time to run on Ottavino, making a close game in the closing spot a dicey on for Ottavino. Right now, he has kept his WHIP low, keeping runners off the bases. But his walk rates this year are lower than his career norm. Is that bound to catch up, or do we see a better Ottavino over the full season? 

Jorge Lopez: 

Jorge Lopez is having a bounce back season after an awful 2023. Rightfully so, he has been given some big assignments and has done a very solid job. Lopez is pitching to a 2.49 ERA over 21.2 innings of work. However, unlike Garrett, Ottavino and Diaz, Lopez expected ERA is a lot higher. Lopez’s expected ERA stands at 4.12, mainly because his walk rate is fairly high in combination with allowing some hard-hit contact. If you watch Lopez outings this year, it doesn’t come as a surprise. To me, Lopez has been inconsistent but still dependable. He had some outings he got lucky with some hard-hit contact, most notably the save against the Braves early in the season. He mostly has gotten the job done, but also was helped at times by others, not allowing inherited runners to score.

Another reason I want Lopez to stay in his current role is his durability. He has been a workhorse so far and pitching in different roles. To me he is a very useful arm to keep out of the closers role and get him in, when you think he is much needed.  

Jake Diekman: 

The most obvious reason for Diekman to get a save is match-up. Although Diekman splits favor him facing right handers, I think lefties have very uncomfortable at bats against the lefty. Lefties have a .512 OPS, while righties have a .463 OPS against Diekman. Still, if you have two lefties coming up in a save spot and you haven’t used Diekman, I wouldn’t shy away. Despite his high walk rate, Diekman is having a good year with a 3.45 ERA.  

To me he isn’t the obvious choice, and his walk rate is scary in save opportunities. Right now, I would go with Garrett or Ottavino, depending on rest and match-up. I fully expect this to be a short stint without our All-Star closer returning to his role! Let’s stand behind Diaz as Mets fans, because he cares.

Corne Hogeveen
Corne Hogeveenhttps://mlbreport.com/
Mets fan from the Netherlands since 2006. As a European fan, trying to get to as many games as possible. Mets writer for MLBreport and Co-host of the Queens Connection Podcast. Author of Diary of a Dutch Mets fan


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