They say no outs in baseball are harder to get than the last three outs. This year that responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Edwin Diaz.
The Mets acquired the closer from Seattle this offseason. While the mound is still 60 feet 6 inches from home plate, he says there are a few things that are different when you play for a New York team.
"Did you get this much attention in Spring training in Seattle?"
"No, no, not much," Diaz said surrounded by a gaggle of reporters Wednesday. "It's different you know, big market here."
Based on his 2018 season with Seattle, Closer Edwin Diaz is ready for the bright lights of New York. The 24-year-old righty led major league baseball with 57 saves last year. This year he's excited to shut the door for one of the best starting pitching staffs in the league that includes reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom.
"I saw the starters and we got a great pitching staff," Diaz said. 'So I'm excited to be in the back of the bullpen doing the job for them. And I'm happy and I know they're happy too that I'm here."
Diaz will be taking over the closer role from Jeurys Familia. The Mets traded Familia in the middle of last season but resigned him as a free agent. He's expected to serve as the setup man for Diaz.
"You know I didn't talk too much to him," Diaz said of Familia. "But I saw him today, he's happy to be here with me. So we are ready to go. We are a team so we have to get ready together."
In the new era of baseball, it's likely that Diaz will be called on to get more than three outs on occasion this season. But on day two of spring training he is already excited to get started.
"If they need me for 1 inning plus I'm ready. I work hard this off season because I know my job and I know I'm on a new team so I work double to be ready and demonstrate that I'm ready to go."
Mets Manager Mickey Calloway says fans and teammates are going to enjoy watching the new closer pitch. And Calloway he isn't doing anything to temper Diaz's excitement about the upcoming season.
"With a guy like Edwin you have to let him be Edwin," Calloway said. "He's going to pump his fist when he gets a save. He's a high energy guy. You saw the smile I'm sure when you were talking to him. He's a terrific kid and he's a young kid. He's going to soak up things from Familia. He's going to lean on Robinson about New York and what to expect. And he's going to go out there and he's going to throw the ball very hard and he's going to have a nasty slider, and it's going to be very fun to watch."
Now the Mets offense just has to get him the ball with a lead.