Diaz has been working on adding a changeup to his arsenal during spring training, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Diaz notched 34 saves this past season but saw his walk rate (11.5 percent) and FIP (4.02) balloon from the year prior. The 23-year-old utilized a two-pitch arsenal -- including a fourseam fastball and slider -- but has reportedly been looking to add an off-speed pitch to his repertoire. General manager Jerry Dipoto recently stated that Diaz's first few bullpen sessions have been "electric" and that his command appears much improved thus far. Lowering his walk rate back into the single-digit range would go a long way towards cementing Diaz as on the the league's preeminent closers.
Diaz struck out two batters over 1.1 innings and earned his 34th save of the year in Saturday's 6-4 victory over the Angels.
After blowing a save Friday, his first since July 22, Diaz had a strong performance and didn't allow a baserunner in the time it took him to close out Saturday's game. Having fanned 89 batters over 66 innings, Diaz has been a solid source of strikeouts this season. However, his lack of control has been an issue, as he's walked 32 batters and surrendered 10 home runs in that time as well.
Diaz struck out two in a perfect ninth inning Tuesday to notch his 33rd save of the season in a 6-3 win over the A's.
He's had his struggles this season, but Diaz now hasn't blown a save since late July, converting his last 15 opportunities. The 23-year-old's 12.0 K/9 this year is elite, but he'll need to improve on his 4.5 BB/9 and 1.4 HR/9 if he's going to take another step forward in 2018.
Diaz fired a scoreless ninth inning in Wednesday's 8-6 loss to the Rangers, allowing one hit.
Manager Scott Servais opted to give Diaz some work after he'd last taken the mound Sept. 13. The 23-year-old right-hander has only had one hiccup this month, a Sept. 6 outing versus the Astros in which he surrendered two earned runs over an inning while taking his sixth loss ot the season. Diaz has largely fulfilled expectations overall in his first full-time campaign as closer, converting 32 of 36 save opportunities while racking up 84 strikeouts over 62.1 innings.
Diaz gave up a hit and struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning Friday to notch his 32nd save of the season in a 4-3 win over the Angels.
The young fireballer has been anything but consistent in his first full season as the Mariners' closer, but he's now converted 14 straight save opportunities over his last 18 appearances despite a 4.58 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 5.6 BB/9 during that stretch. Diaz's 11.2 K.9 in those 17.2 innings certainly helps, of course, but he'll need to sharpen his control considerably if he hopes to join the ranks of the league's elite closers next season.
|10/1/2017 vs Los Angeles|
|vs Los Angeles||6.2||0||2||10.80||4||6||12|
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