Why Mets think Edwin Diaz belongs in Cy Young coversation

Only 9 relievers have gained a Cy Young Award, none since 2003, when nearer Eric Gagne did it with the Dodgers.

And with two months left on this season, Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara is the heavy favourite to win the NL Cy Young.

But does Mets nearer Edwin Diaz have a case in the course of a downright dominant season?

“One-hundred p.c,” Mets reliever Tommy Hunter mentioned Friday. “Who’s throwing higher than him?”

Diaz, who didn’t seem within the Mets’ 9-6 loss to Atlanta on Friday night time, is in a category of his personal. After his six-out save towards the Braves on Thursday, Diaz has struck out 87 of the 167 batters he has confronted this 12 months to move with a zero.89 WHIP, 1.44 ERA and 24 saves in 43 ²/₃ innings. His strikeout charge of 52.1 p.c is the best by way of a aid pitcher thru 43 appearances in a season in MLB historical past.

Alcantara, in the meantime, has been essentially the most elite starter. Entering Friday, he had a 1.88 ERA, 141 strikeouts, 3 whole video games and a zero.93 WHIP throughout 158 ¹/₃ innings.

Mets nearer Edwin Diaz recorded a six-out save within the Mets win over the Braves in Game 1 of the five-game sequence.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

“Yeah, he’s were given nice stuff, however now not any place on the subject of being as dominant [as Diaz], respectfully,” Hunter mentioned. “He’s nice, don’t get me incorrect. But he’s certainly now not in the similar class as Edwin at the moment.”

Of path, throughout the best way within the Mets clubhouse, a beginning pitcher had a distinct view of a reliever’s Cy Young candidacy.

“To be somewhat fair with you, it’s very, very exhausting to win it as a reliever for the reason that worth,” Chris Bassitt mentioned. “The worth of a starter over the price of a reliever is tremendously other. You have a starter who may just win a Cy Young, that’s considerably extra treasured than a more in-depth.”

Wins Above Replacement would accept as true with Bassitt. Diaz has recorded a 2.2 fWAR to Alcantara’s 4.2, according to Fangraphs. But each Bassitt and Hunter, who’ve prior to now been teammates of relievers who earned Cy Young votes, agree that what Diaz is doing is particular.

Hunter was once within the Orioles bullpen for the primary part of 2016 when Zack Britton posted a single-season document 0.54 ERA (for pitchers with a minimum of 50 innings). The lefty nearer, a ground-ball specialist, positioned fourth within the AL Cy Young balloting that 12 months.

Edwin Diaz
Edwin Diaz
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

“What Edwin is doing is on a distinct stage,” Hunter mentioned. “Granted, I’m now not taking anything else clear of Zack Britton’s dominance and that’s now not one thing I’ve intentions of doing — however this can be a other stage of dominance. ERA has so much to do together with your crew and play and protection and uncontrollable effects. Edwin’s controlling his personal future at a ancient charge.

“He’s taking likelihood out of it and he’s placing his stamp on it.”

Through Thursday, Diaz’s 87 strikeouts led all MLB relievers and had been 21 greater than the second-place pitcher, Cardinals nearer Ryan Helsley. Diaz has been particularly untouchable of past due, with 33 of his remaining 45 outs coming by means of the strikeout.

“It’s video game-like,” Bassitt mentioned.

In 2020, Bassitt was once an Oakland teammate of Liam Hendriks, who positioned 9th in AL Cy Young balloting (Bassitt positioned 8th). In 2018, he was once at the roster with Blake Treinen when the Athletics nearer tied for 6th in AL Cy Young balloting. Diaz’s season reminds Bassitt of Treinen’s in the best way that they had been in a position to restrict baserunners.

“There’s clearly closers with in reality just right stuff however they let guys on base, so issues can occur,” Bassitt mentioned. “[With Diaz], it’s truthfully extra so, when anyone will get on base, it’s like, ‘What the heck took place?’ It’s now not even the scoring. The maximum spectacular factor to me is he doesn’t stroll guys.

“When you’ve that elite of stuff that he has, the largest factor is, do you beat your self? He simply doesn’t.”

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