Edwin Diaz On WFAN: Everybody Has Their Eyes On Me This Season

Mets Closer Discusses Change In Diet And Expectations For 2020

Moose & Maggie
March 04, 2020 - 2:21 pm

New York Mets reliever Edwin Diaz is a firm believer in having a down year once in a career.

Diaz suffered a lackluster 2019 season, his first in New York, as he surrendered a career-high 36 runs. He lost his closer role to Seth Lugo last season and witnessed his ERA rise to 5.59 through 66 appearances — a year removed from his 1.96 ERA season with Seattle. Diaz aims to improve on the mound. 

The 25-year-old understands the pressure he'll face over the next 162 games.

"Everybody got their eyes on me for this season," Diaz told WFAN's Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray. "That's why I prepare the way I prepare. I worked really hard in the offseason. I started working out in October — every time when the season's done I get a month off with time with my family. But right away when the season done I take the week off and I start working out. I feel ready for the season. I feel really, really good."

Diaz has sought feedback from opposing hitters throughout spring training. In 2018, Diaz recorded 57 saves, which remains his career-high mark. He arrived in New York with lofty expectations and while Mets fans expect a lot from Diaz, the closer holds himself to the same standard. 

The first approach Diaz took for redemption came off the field. Diaz said he loves candy, but wanted to adjust his diet and mixed in significantly more vegetables in his meals. 

"I started eating healthy food," Diaz said. "Try to feel more energy and feel better when I'm playing the game because if you don't feel healthy sometimes you feel tired, you don't perform the way you want so I started eating healthy to get a better season."

Diaz was forced to endure multiple staffing changes. Former pitching coach Dave Eiland was fired in June and Phil Regan, Eiland's successor, retired following the 2019 season. New York settled on former Mets pitcher Jeremy Hefner to fill the void. 

"He went to Puerto Rico to see me, my first bullpen when I started throwing bullpen in Puerto Rico," Diaz said. "He's a great guy. I've got a couple of friends from Minnesota who played with him and they told me he was a great guy, he talked to us every time, he tried to get knowledge about us."

Click the audio player above to hear Diaz' interview in its entirety

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