SEATTLE MARINERS

Worth another look: Watch Mariners’ Edwin Diaz strike out side on 9 pitches

Mar 16, 2018, 2:48 PM | Updated: 2:49 pm
Mariners closer Edwin Diaz dazzled with an immaculate inning Thursday night. (AP)...
Mariners closer Edwin Diaz dazzled with an immaculate inning Thursday night. (AP)
(AP)

As Mariners closer for over a year and a half, it’s easy to forget that Edwin Diaz is still in his early 20s. Then he does something like he did Thursday night to remind you that he is very much still a phenom with raw talent.

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Diaz pitched an immaculate inning in the Mariners’ 6-2 spring training win over the Oakland Athletics, needing just nine pitches (all strikes) to strike out the side in the seventh inning.

With no World Baseball Classic this year, the flame-throwing right-hander has been able to take things a little bit easier this spring than in 2017 when he was closing for his native Puerto Rico. He’s appeared in six Cactus League games, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out eight.

The Mariners are hoping that Diaz, who will turn 24 on March 22, will get through his first full season as the closer without a need for any breaks from the job. He had a short stint out of the role to work out some issues in 2017, which worked out pretty well as he was the American League’s Reliever of the Month for July.

Despite converting to the bullpen just two seasons ago in the minors, Diaz already has 52 career MLB saves to his credit, including 34 last year. He’ll be the guy the Mariners will rely upon to finish games once again in 2018, a year in which Seattle has high hopes its bullpen will among baseball’s best.

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Worth another look: Watch Mariners’ Edwin Diaz strike out side on 9 pitches