Sunday: Manager Mickey Callaway told reporters, including Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, today that Díaz is “slightly improved.” He’s unavailable for today’s series finale against Atlanta, but he should avoid a trip to the injured list.
Saturday: After Mets closer Edwin Diaz was removed from tonight’s 9-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves, manager Mickey Callaway indicated post-game that the embattled pitcher was dealing with “trap” tightness. When asked by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com if Diaz’s ailment was serious enough to necessitate a trip to the injured list, Callaway could only offer that it was “really hard to say” (link).
In speaking with Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News about the injury, Diaz struck the tone of an athlete frustrated by near season-long turmoil: “That’s the first time it’s happened,” Diaz said. “I don’t understand why it happened. Yesterday I felt good. When I felt like I was starting to finally get it going, something like this happens.”
It’s easy to feel sympathy for the 25-year-old hurler, who has posted the worst results of his career in 2019 after being propped up as something of a savior for the beleaguered Mets bullpen. In his final pre-arb campaign, Diaz has posted a 5.55 ERA (3.33 xFIP) through 48.2 innings. Public calls to remove Diaz from closing duties have reached near-cacophony at various points this year, but Callaway, perhaps realizing that the righty maintains solid underlying peripherals (16.2% SwStr rate and 14.79 K/9 rate), has maintained faith to this point.
If Diaz does indeed miss games, Seth Lugo would seem to be the logical choice for fill-in duties as the team seeks to gain ground in the NL Wild Card race–a race in which they are only 2.0 games back from first. Lugo has already chipped in 3 saves this year and had a 2.65 ERA as recently as Aug. 14–a date on which he was drubbed for 5 runs by the Braves. Since then, Lugo has compiled five consecutive scoreless innings, dialing back this season’s ERA figure to a tidy 3.14 in 63.0 innings.