Mets’ David Stearns 'not concerned' about Edwin Diaz’s velocity dip

Observant viewers of Monday’s 6-3 Mets win over the Pittsburgh Pirates noticed that star closer Edwin Diaz’s velocity was down from his season average -- which itself is down from his peak years before last spring’s knee injury.

Diaz’s early results this year have been excellent. In seven innings, he has allowed two hits and one earned run, while walking two and striking out ten. His ERA is 1.29 (though his FIP -- fielding independent pitching, a better predictor for future performance than ERA -- is a somewhat more human 3.08).

Still, watching Diaz nail down his second save in as many days, one couldn’t help but note the one 94.9 mph fastball he threw, and the 88.2 mph slider.

For the night, his fastball averaged 95.8 mph, down nearly a full mph from his season average of 96.6.

During Diaz’s dynamic 2022 campaign, his fastball averaged 99.1 mph, and his slider 90.8 mph. This year, the slider is averaging 89 mph.

It’s not uncommon for pitchers to need time in a given season to ramp up to peak velocity. This is not necessarily a reason for concern, especially given Diaz’s effectiveness.

But it did seem worth asking president of baseball operations David Stearns if the organization had taken a look at the velo dip after Monday’s game.

“That’s in the normal range,” Stearns said during his general media availability on Tuesday. “And back-to-backs early in the season. Not concerned.”