Friday, June 28, 2019

Callaway On Diaz: "When he's right, he's the same guy he was last year."

Mets Manager Mickey Callaway. Photo by Jason Schott.


The Mets' bullpen has been a disappointment this season, and that includes the one guy who should have been an automatic, closer  Edwin Diaz.

When the Mets acquired Diaz from Seattle, along with Robinson Cano, the thinking was they they were getting one of the top closers in baseball, as he had 57 saves last season.


This year has been quite a different story for Diaz, who is 1-5 with a 4.94 ERA and has four blown saves, including on Thursday afternoon, when he allowed five runs to the Phillies in the ninth inning as he coughed up a 3-1 lead.

Edwin Diaz.


On Friday afternoon, Mickey Callaway was asked about his closer and he said: "We've looked into it deeply and it's not every game. Obviously, the game before last night, it looked different and the results were different. Last night's game, the results were different. The delivery was a little bit different from day to day. The location was different from day to day, so it really is about location and, sometimes, his delivery gets a little out of whack.
"They talked about it a week ago and he was real excited about it; he was able to change it for a couple of outings and then it reverted back last night. It's like any other pitcher - there's going to be mechanical flaws throughout the season, throughout the week, from game to game, you're not going to execute pitches the way you want to from game to game, so I think it's more about that and the consistency of that than anything.
"When he's right, he's the same guy he was last year. I delved into all his numbers today, and those are the main factors: the delivery gets a little out of whack and he gets across his body a little bit, and then the location is middle-middle, and getting the ball where he wants to, and it's just as simple as that.
"The third part of it is, you can go out there and throw BP and that might not happen, so it's kind of, part of it's unbelievable that they're able to do a couple of times against him, and the real root of the problem is a mechanical flaw at times and the location."

Callaway was then asked if he thinks the pressure of New York is getting to Diaz, and he said, "I don't get that sense at all. Talking to him, seeing his reaction after the game, seeing him more importantly in there today smiling, same guy he always is, that's not an issue from what I can tell."

On still having full confidence in his closer despite these issues, Callaway said, "You have that risk with every pitcher every single night, right. I mean, Matzy's (Steven Matz) gonna have a mechanical flaw (Jacob) deGrom will; you don't know when those are going to show up, so you really can't use that. We don't have a crystal ball to tell us when those are going to show up, so you can't really use that as part of information when you send a guy out there. Now, if it continues to happen over and over again to the point of, 'man it's just not working,' then obviously it comes into your decision-making. When a guy comes in lights-out the night before, you pretty much feel like he's going to do the same thing the next night."

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