SHANNON DRAYER

Notebook: Mariners give Puerto Rico permission to use closer Edwin Diaz in WBC final

Mar 21, 2017, 4:45 PM

PEORIA, Ariz. – Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Jean Segura are back in camp from the Dominican Republic’s run in the World Baseball Classic, and they’re all in the lineup against the A’s Tuesday night. Felix Hernandez (Venezuela) is back as well and scheduled to pitch Thursday. As for Edwin Diaz, well, he still has work to do with Puerto Rico in the WBC, and the Mariners are going to let him do it.

“They will use him if they need him tomorrow,” Scott Servais said Tuesday afternoon.

There was some question whether Diaz would be allowed to throw again in the WBC after throwing two innings in Puerto Rico’s extra innings win over the Netherlands in Monday night’s semifinal game. He said that he hoped to be allowed to pitch and would ask permission. Permission granted, and although the Mariners won’t comment on restrictions on his use, you have to believe that Diaz will only be pitching one inning if the need arises in the WBC final Wednesday.

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As tough as it has been to have Diaz away from camp – and club control – Servais couldn’t help but enjoy Diaz’s first inning Monday.

“He was electric,” he enthused.

The consensus in the organization is that of all the Mariners who participated in the WBC, Diaz was the one who could benefit the most from the experience of playing in a postseason-like environment.

“I thought he made some big pitches Monday night,” Servais said. “You watch what he did and how he responded, you have to experience that. Hopefully we’ll benefit from that quite a bit down the road.”

Lineup!

Jarrod Dyson, LF
Jean Segura, SS
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nelson Cruz, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Mitch Haniger, RF
Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Mike Zunino, C
Leonys Martin, CF

Chris Heston, RHP

Note

• Drew Smyly pitched in a minor league game on Field 3 in Peoria on Monday afternoon. He threw five innings, two of them shortened because of pitch count, and gave up four earned runs on seven hits and two walks while registering three strikeouts. He threw 90 pitches with 56 strikes. Not the prettiest of lines, but not unexpected as minor leaguers like to swing against big leaguers. “It’s an adjustment, no doubt,” Servais said. “There’s just no adrenaline. That’s a big part of it, especially when you have been in the league and around a little bit. It’s going to be different on the back fields.”

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Notebook: Mariners give Puerto Rico permission to use closer Edwin Diaz in WBC final