Mickey Callaway has little choice but to consider removing Diaz from the closer role. Diaz now carries a 5.67 ERA, a far cry from the 1.96 ERA he put together last year en route to 57 saves for the Mariners. The situation is further pressurized by the prospects whom the Mets surrendered for Diaz, who continue to climb up prospects boards as they near their new futures in Seattle. Robinson Cano, either the tax in the deal or Diaz’s sidekick, depending on your perspective, hasn’t helped matters either. Hampered by injuries, Cano has produced just a .244/.292/.368 batting line while drawing boos from the New York crowd.
The devolution of Cano isn’t all that stunning – though Brodie Van Wagenen clearly did not see this coming – but few expected Diaz to stumble into the All-Star break such as he has. How bad Diaz has been is a matter of debate, as he’s been worth -0.4 wins above replacement by measure of rWAR, whereas Fangraphs takes a brighter view, putting his worth on the year at a positive 0.4 fWAR. Neither are what the Mets hoped for, but by Fangraphs measure there is some hope that Diaz hasn’t lost what made him so special last season.
No one expected this, especially with a reliever who had so much success in the AL coming over to the DH-less NL. So what now? Make Seth Lugo the closer?