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Elite Closer for the New York Mets, Representing Puerto Rico: Edwin Díaz

📸Image Credit: Bill Menzel, Mets vs. Cardinals

NEW YORK- Spring Training games have begun in full form with our favorite teams getting back into their season routine. On Tuesday evening in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Jacob DeGrom made his 2022 season debut against the Houston Astros in an exhibition matchup at Clover Park. On the night, the two-time Cy Young Award winner pitched a quick two innings and totaled an impressive 5 strikeouts. Latino Sports takes honor in promoting baseball through various authentic methods such as our Meet The Player thread. Today, we will get introduced to the flamethrower for the New York Mets: Edwin Díaz. 

Born in Naguabo, Puerto Rico, Díaz began playing baseball at a young age. He grew up in the Daguao area, which is located on the coast of southeastern Puerto Rico. While a youngster, Díaz played youth baseball alongside future MLB stars such as Blue Jays pitcher José Berríos and newly signed Minnesota Twins, Carlos Correa. 

On another topic, Berríos signed a 7 year/$131 million extension with Toronto over the offseason. He started this past season with the Minnesota Twins before being dealt to the Blue Jays in July. During the 2021 season, Berríos pitched in 32 games and tallied 204 strikeouts in 192 innings pitched. 

📸 Photo Credit: Bill Menzel

José Berríos is a finalist for the 32nd Annual Latino Sports American League Starting Pitcher Award. 

Now, we turn back to the just turned 28 year old, Díaz. He was born on March 22, 1994. This past Tuesday, Díaz celebrated his birthday with his Mets teammates and coaches. He was introduced at Mets training camp on Tuesday morning with a huge birthday cake that included the combined decor of Díaz and pitcher Carlos Carrasco, whose birthday just passed on Monday, March 21st. 

📸 Photo Credit: Bill Menzel

Carlos Carrasco received the 2020 Latino Sports American League Starting Pitcher Award, while pitching for the Cleveland Indians. 

Díaz enters out of the bullpen with a spectacular introduction song that gets the Citi Field crowd jumping in excitement. His pitches deliver similar emotions from Mets fans every appearance. Diaz’s pitching package contains three pitches: a four-seam fastball, slider, and changeup. 

The flamethrower, Díaz started his career with Seattle as he was selected in the 2012 MLB Draft in the third round with the 98th overall pick by the Mariners. On June 6, 2016, Díaz made his professional MLB debut in the 7th inning against the Cleveland Indians at T-Mobile Park. 

His spectacular performances throughout the 2016 season resulted in him being selected to represent Puerto Rico on the National Team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Díaz had two saves in the worldwide broadcast tournament. On the diamond behind Díaz, Team Puerto Rico contained star-studded-talents such as Francisco Lindor, Javier Báez, Carlos Correa and Ángel Págan.

Although he was a future star to begin with, Díaz’s reign in the majors took off in 2018. He was the league’s leader in saves, finishing with 57 on the season. Díaz was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. 

Edwin Díaz 2018 regular season statistics with Seattle Mariners (73 appearances):

1.96 earned run average, 124 strikeouts, career-high 73.1 innings pitched

His tenure with the Mariners ended in December of 2018 as he was dealt in a trade with 2B Robinson Cano to the New York Mets. Díaz is a key piece to the Mets bullpen depth. In both of the 2019 and 2021 seasons, Díaz pitched in 58 innings or more with at least 89 strikeouts in each season. In the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, Díaz totaled 50 strikeouts in 25.2 innings pitched. 

Edwin Díaz 2021 regular season statistics with the New York Mets (63 appearances):

3.45 earned run average, 12.8 strikeouts/9 innings pitched, 62.2 innings pitched

📸 Photo Credit: Artist, James Florentino

Edwin Díaz is a finalist for the 32nd Annual Latino Sports National League Relief/Closing Pitcher Award.

He will be earning $10.2 million this season as the Mets and Díaz have agreed to terms on a contract to avoid arbitration. He has the complete package to deliver in the clutch on the mound for the New York Mets this upcoming season.

Robert Rizzo Social Media 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robert.rizzo.1042

Twitter: @drizzyrizz

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