MIAMI — The way Reds reliever Big Diaz has pitched since his first callup following 12 conditions of Minor League football, its easy to wonder why the actual 30-year-old wasnt promoted sooner.
Following the rocky debut vs. Greater on June 20, Diaz moved into Sunday with a 1.12 ERA with two earned runs allowed over 14 2/3 innings. On Saturday vs. your Marlins, the right-hander worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings before Cincinnati lost 2-1 in 10 innings.
Its outstanding. The thing thats unusual — Im sure the stuff has always been generally there, Reds manager Bryan Price tag said on Sunday. Hes usually had the velocity. Theres nothing a novice to the velocity; he throws hits. He has three pitches, this individual gets lefties out.
I dont know whether it was just the weight and they failed to want to put him in existence at 340, 350 lbs or if hes just been more efficient with the weight loss. I know he ran some really good quantities for us before the weight loss — popular numbers — but he was not ever really a topic of conversation whenever we mentioned guys in our system at being options of aiding us at this level.
Diaz dropped from 347 pounds to 278 weight in the past offseason, a drop of 69 fat.
As hes pitched well, Diaz has gotten to work in more and more high-profile situations. He was used Saturday to do the eighth inning and do the job the ninth as Jonathan Broxton had been unavailable. Price isnt reluctant to use him to set up, or even to close, should Aroldis Chapman or Broxton not be available.
The other part of it that has been impressive has been his conduct, Price said. Maybe that is just the maturity of a 30-year-old man with a lot of life experience in the game. Hes embraced this opportunity. He has been early to the ballpark, hes not cavalier about it. Hes recently been very, very focused on keeping his in-season shape and conditioning. … We havent been as consistent out of our bullpen in 2014 as we were in 12 and 13, thus hes given us a real improve.