After putting up a league-leading 57 saves and 124 strikeouts with a 1.96 ERA with the Mariners in 2018, the Mets did not get that type of production out of Edwin Diaz in his first season in Flushing.
The Mets saw the closer's ERA balloon to 5.59 last season. That wasn't what New York general manager Brodie Van Wagenen envisioned when acquiring him via trade in his first offseason at the helm.
But enter new manager Carlos Beltran. What does the Mets skipper see for Diaz in the future? Something mirroring 2018.
"I do believe it's going to be a great year for him," Beltran said to WFAN on Monday after officially being named the team's manager. "He will be fixed."
Beltran had two thoughts as to what the problem could have been for Diaz last season.
"There were some things he was doing last year tipping wise, I also believe that coming from a small market team to a big market team in New York, there's adjustments you have to make. There's a process you have to go through. I do believe he's going to be better this year," Beltran said.
While discussing Diaz, Beltran also mentioned improvement from Jeurys Familia as something that could provided the Mets with another in-house boost from the bullpen.
"I do feel our in our bullpen, there were guys who had down years this year and we expect them to get back into who they are and who they were, in the future. I feel having Edwin Diaz back to where he was is going to help us big time. Familia is going to help us big time," Beltran said.
The Mets could see some big changes in the bullpen, though. Those won't involve Diaz or Familia, but could involve Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. Depending on what the future holds for others in the Mets' starting rotation, such as Zack Wheeler, Van Wagenen said those two could be in consideration for a starting role. Lugo has already previously expressed an interest in his personal goals being more aligned with a starting spot.
"We've got some great players in Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman that may be considerations in the rotation," Van Wagenen told SNY.
But Beltran has minimal experience working with, or managing, a bullpen. Next to none. He addressed that concern with honesty and confidence.
First, Beltran admitted he can't do it all himself.
"Well I do believe I need a veteran guide in that position that's going to help me," Beltran said. "Running the bullpen, it is very important to have a guy who has done it before."
But he doesn't think he's going into the situation completely blind.
Referring to the later stages of his career while working as a DH in the American League, Beltran says he would run through scenarios in his mind.
"I got to sit down on the bench and kind of like went through situations in my mind," Beltran said. "I got caught up in managing the game."