Mets’ Edwin Diaz not ready to give up closer role without a fight

Edwin Diaz didn’t resemble much of a closer for the Mets last season, but in spring training this year indicated he still had faith the job was his. Returning to workouts 3½ months later, that mindset hasn’t changed.

“My mentality has always been that I’m a closer, despite even what happened last year,” Diaz said through an interpreter following a Friday afternoon workout at Citi Field. “This offseason I went in and trained hard, I worked on different things that gave me the confidence that made me feel that I could be the closer of this team.

“Now, going into this second spring training, I’m going to try to prove during these next two to three weeks that I can be the closer of this team.”

Diaz, who pitched to a 5.59 ERA with seven blown saves in 33 attempts last season, said he worked out at a stadium near his home in Puerto Rico during the layoff, facing players such as Kennys Vargas, who played last season for the Twins.

Edwin Diaz
Edwin DiazN.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Jed Lowrie’s situation remains a mystery.

“Jed hasn’t played in a while,” manager Luis Rojas said. “We are going to see where his progression is, that is something I need to assess with the performance staff to see where he is.”

Lowrie, whose 2019 season consisted of seven September at-bats, arrived at spring training in February wearing a brace that extended from his left mid-thigh to almost the ankle. Rojas indicated that brace had been keeping Lowrie from getting comfortable in workouts.

Dellin Betances
Dellin BetancesN.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Dellin Betances made a strong impression on the manager during his morning throwing session. The right-hander, who is returning from a torn left Achilles, was still building up arm strength when spring training was suspended in March.

“His feedback was great on how things were going and how his workouts were going,” Rojas said. “What he looked like today, he looked really good how the ball was coming out of his hands, both of his breaking balls coming out really good, just good stuff.

“I watched from the angle behind the catcher and you see that monster on the mound, I can see why the strikeout ratio is so high with him. He looked really good today, felt really good and then afterwards I saw him in the gym and he was very pumped up about the day, going through the session.”


Rojas would not divulge if any players tested positive for COVID-19 during the Mets’ intake testing that concluded this week. Previously, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen indicated a player on the 40-man roster had tested positive.


Marcus Stroman and Amed Rosario were both absent from workouts. The Mets did not provide an explanation for either absence.

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