The hottest prospect in the Mariners farm system, RHP Edwin Diaz, is now with the big club. The 22-year-old Puerto Rican made the leap from AA Jackson, where he began the season as a starter but was converted to the bullpen, although that may not be his ultimate spot in the major leagues. He was called up Saturday to help stop the sudden bleeding.
At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Diaz was considered by some to be too skinny to be a rotation starter. Since being moved to the bullpen May 10, he has gone 1-0 with one save and no earned runs over 11.2 innings. Overall at Jackson, including six starts, Diaz went 3-3 with one save and a 2.21 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 16 games.
General manager Jerry Dipoto said earlier he wouldn’t be surprised if Diaz made the roster sometime before the end of the season, but the fact this he’ll be available for Saturday and Sunday in Texas against the division-leading Rangers indicates urgency. The Mariners have given up 34 runs in the past three games and only once in the past eight have given up less than four runs.
A third-round pick (98th overall) in the 2012 draft, Diaz split the 2015 season between A Bakersfield and AA Jackson, going 7-10 with a 3.82 ERA. He was a member of the World Team in the 2015 MLB Futures Game and was named by the Mariners as the organization’s Starting Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season.
To make room on the active roster, the Mariners optioned RHP Cody Martin back to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers. Martin, 26, was recalled from Tacoma June 2, and was the winning pitcher that night at San Diego when Seattle rallied from a 12-2 deficit and won 16-13. He worked three innings in Friday night’s game in Texas (one earned run).