Servais: Maturity, Nicasio’s influence has been key for Mariners’ Edwin Diaz

Apr 19, 2018, 11:37 AM
Scott Servais on Edwin Diaz's two pitches: "When they’re both on, it’s pretty much lights out."...
Scott Servais on Edwin Diaz's two pitches: "When they’re both on, it’s pretty much lights out." (AP)

Edwin Diaz has been nearly untouchable out of the gate for the Mariners.

Just ask his manager.

Call him ‘Bad Guy’: Edwin Diaz explains his mentality on the mound

“Some nights better fastball, some nights better slider. When they’re both on, it’s pretty much lights out,” Scott Servais said of his closer while talking to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk before the Mariners’ series finale against the Astros.

In Diaz’s eight appearances entering Thursday, the occasion of both his pitches being on hasn’t been all that rare. That’s why he is just the second pitcher in Mariners history to record seven saves in the team’s first 14 games of a season, as well as why he owns a spotless ERA, 0.38 WHIP and 18 strikeouts per nine innings.

Servais credits the 24-year-old Diaz’s impressive start to his maturation.

“Maturity is the biggest thing for me. You’ll see Edi once in a while just step off the mound,” Servais said. “He might lose a couple fastballs up, arm side, and in the past he’d try to get the ball back as quick as he could, get back on the mound and ‘Let’s just go get the next one.’ He’s starting to slow it down a little bit.”

Diaz is also benefiting from the influence of veteran reliever Juan Nicasio, one of the Mariners’ bigger offseason signings.

“Juan Nicasio’s helped him a lot,” Seravis said. “Juan has been through the league, he’s been on a couple different clubs, he’s matured into kind of an established guy who has a very good routine. Edi has hung around with him; it’s helped Edi.”

You can hear Servais’ full interview with Brock and Salk in the podcast of Thursday’s show.

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Servais: Maturity, Nicasio’s influence has been key for Mariners’ Edwin Diaz