Edwin Diaz wins back-to-back AL Reliever of the Month Awards - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Edwin Diaz wins back-to-back AL Reliever of the Month Awards

Photo: Twitter/@Mariners Photo: Twitter/@Mariners

By Seattle Mariners

Mariners right-handed pitched Edwin Díaz has been named the Hartford Presents American League Reliever of the Month for July. It is Díaz’s third such award this season and the fourth of his career (also: July 2017, April 2018 and June 2018).

Major League Baseball made the announcement this afternoon.

Diaz converted 9-of-9 save opportunities while posting a spotless 0.00 ERA (0 ER, 10.0 IP) in 10 relief appearances in the month of July. He struck out 19 and walked only 2 while limiting opponents to a .063 (2x32) average against and while recording a 0.40 WHIP (2 BB, 2 H, 10.0 IP). The 6-foot-3, 165-pound right-hander averaged 17.10 strikeouts-per-9.0-innings (19 K, 10.0 IP) in the month. His 9 saves were tied with Boston’s Craig Kimbrel for the American League lead.

On July 30 vs. Houston, Díaz recorded his 40th save of the season in the Mariners 106th game of the season. He became the 2nd-fastest pitcher by games played in Major League history to reach the 40-save plateau, trailing only Francisco Rodriguez, who reached the milestone in the Angels 98th team game in 2008 on his way to a single-season Major League record 62 saves. With his 40th save, Díaz joined Fernando Rodney (48, 2014), Kazuhiro Sasaki (45, 2001) and J.J. Putz (40, 2007) as the only Mariners in club history with at least 40 saves in a season.

Overall this season, Díaz has converted 40-of-43 (93.0%) save opportunities with a 2.04 ERA (12 ER, 53.0 IP) with 87 strikeouts and 15 walks in 53 relief appearances. Díaz is averaging 14.77 strikeouts-per-9.0-innings (87 K, 53.0 IP) while limiting opposing batters to a .149 (27x181) average against. He has also posted a 0.79 WHIP (15 BB, 27 H, 53.0 IP). Díaz leads the Major Leagues in saves and ranks 2nd among all relievers in strikeouts. Among American League relievers, Díaz is 2nd in WHIP, 3rd in K/9.0 IP and 3rd in opponents average against. The Mariners are 48–0 when Díaz enters with a lead this season, including 23–0 when he enters with a 1-run lead. Of his 40 saves, 21 have come in 1-run games, most in the Majors this season (Craig Kimbrel-BOS, 12). Díaz is 21-for-23 in 1-run save opportunities (91.3%) with a 0.77 ERA (2 ER, 23.1 IP) with 43 strikeouts and 5 walks. He has struck out his 1st batter faced in 24 of his 53 appearances (45.3%), tied with Adam Ottavino-COL for most in the Majors. In 24 of his 40 saves, Díaz has faced the minimum 3 batters in an outing of exactly 1.0 inning, the most such saves in the Majors (Craig Kimbrel-BOS, 17).

In three seasons with Seattle (2016-c), Díaz is 92-for-103 (89.3%) in save opportunities with a 2.74 ERA (52 ER, 170.2 IP) with 264 strikeouts and 62 walks in 168 relief appearances. He ranks 4th all-time in club history with 92 career saves, behind Kazuhiro Sasaki (129), J.J. Putz (101) and Mike Schooler (98). He recorded his first career Major League save two years ago today, Aug. 2, 2016 vs. Boston at Safeco Field. Over that span (8/2/16-c), Díaz leads the Major Leagues with 92 saves, ranking ahead of Kenley Jansen (87) and Craig Kimbrel (81). His 13.92 strikeouts-per-9.0-innings (264 K, 170.2 IP) mark is the best in club history (min. 100.0 IP) ahead of Randy Johnson (10.58).

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