Diaz went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, two RBI and three runs scored in Saturday's 12-5 win over the Mets. It was undoubtedly the best offensive performance thus far in 2021 for Diaz, who's hitting .333 in his last seven games with just three strikeouts in 24 at-bats during that span. Despite having yet to homer this season, the first baseman has been a legitimate offensive contributor in past seasons and shouldn't be overlooked despite the early lack of power.
Diaz posted three multi-hit efforts over the nine games prior to Friday's series opener against the Mets, but he remained without a home run over his first 148 plate appearances of the season. Diaz's two home runs in 2020 thus serve as the only instances in which the infielder has left the yard across the 286 plate appearances since the start of that campaign. It's a stark drought, considering the 29-year-old was coming off having slugged a career-high 14 round trippers in 2019, his first Rays campaign. Diaz had just a 3.6 barrel percentage and 83.1 mph average exit velocity going into Friday's action, so the fact he only has four extra-base hits -- all doubles -- over 148 plate appearances isn't exactly surprising.
Diaz went 3-for-4 with an RBI single and a walk in a win over the Angels on Monday. Teammates Willy Adames and Manuel Margot provided the biggest blasts of the night, but Diaz was productive with some "small ball" contributions. The 29-year-old's seventh multi-hit effort of the season snapped a brief 1-for-10 funk that had encompassed his prior four games.
Diaz is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Astros, Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio Network reports. Yoshi Tsutsugo will fill in at first base for Diaz, who has fallen into a 5-for-35 slump over his past 11 games. Meanwhile, Tsutsugo is slashing .164/.233/.209 on the season, so he wouldn't appear to be a serious threat to unseat Diaz for an everyday role at this point.
Diaz is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Tampa Bay will go with Joey Wendle and Mike Brosseau as its corner infielders while Diaz takes a seat in the series finale. Diaz had started each of the past seven games, going 5-for-23 while drawing six walks.