MLB.com’s Morosi: Kyle Seager, Edwin Diaz difference-makers for Mariners
Two big reasons for the Mariners’ strong start to the season are third baseman Kyle Seager and closer Edwin Diaz. Both have shaken off up-and-down 2017 campaigns to put together impressive months of April, helping the Mariners make some noise in the American League in the process.
Diaz has been nearly untouchable in the ninth inning, allowing just one hit and two walks while chalking up 16 strikeouts and seven saves over eight innings. As for Seager, who has traditionally been a slow starter in his seven year MLB career, he is hitting .283 with three home runs, 11 RBIs and an .856 on-base plus slugging percentage.
Both players have the potential of being the difference between the Mariners making or missing the postseason, MLB.com and MLB Network analyst Jon Morosi told Brock and Salk (full interview here).
The Mariners have won five of their last six games entering Tuesday, and Seager has stood out over that time, hitting .435 with two homers, three doubles and seven RBIs.
“The last week they have played a lot better, and over the last week arguably their best offensive player has been Seager,” Morosi said. “I don’t like putting too much of a team’s production and expectations on one player, but when he is driving in runs, it’s a different team. … When he is hitting as he has been for the last week, this is a playoff team. If he has an average year, they’re probably an average team. I really think he is a difference-maker.”
Morosi sees a similarity in the impact Diaz could make out of the bullpen to what Seager means to the offense.
“A good closer may actually be the difference between a .500 team and a wild card team,” he said. “In the bullpen, (Diaz) is that guy in the way that I believe Seager is to the lineup where I think his performance may well tell the tale for this team making the playoffs or not.
“I think when you’ve got that pitcher, and I think the Mariners have it in Diaz, it just allows a greater confidence for everybody else. … He’s really showing another side of (himself). Calm down in those busy situations, able to have that steady heartbeat that you need.”
— Mariners (@Mariners) April 17, 2018
While Seager has been among the best third basemen in the game for several years and even made an All-Star team, Diaz is still establishing himself in the majors. It might not be long before more attention is put on the flame-throwing right-hander, though.
“His stuff is dominant,” Morosi said. “I think right now Edwin Diaz is one of the elite closers in the game. He is that good.”