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Carlos Beltran Experience Can Help Edwin Diaz

In 2004, Carlos Beltran was one of the best players in baseball. Between his time with the Kansas City Royals and Houston Astros, he hit .267/.367/.548 with 36 doubles, nine triples, 38 homers, 104 RBI, and 42 stolen bases.

By WAR, he was the tenth best player in baseball. In the postseason, there was no one better than him as he hit eight homers in 12 postseason games.

This led to his signing a huge seven year $119 million contract. It was a contract befitting his burgeoning superstar status.

Only he wasn’t a superstar in 2005. Rather, he looked like a overpaid player who could make fans wonder if this deal would be as bad or worse as the Bobby Bonilla signing.

There was his rolling over on pitches hitting weak grounders to second. He had this inexplicable propensity to bunt. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, he and Mike Cameron dove for the same ball in San Diego leading to one of the more horrific collisions you’ll ever see.

Overall, Beltran only hit .266/.330/.414 with 34 doubles, two triples, 16 homers, and 78 RBI. The 97 OPS+ would be the third worst of his career. Things were so bad Beltrán was booed lightly during player introductions on Opening Day in 2006.

That 2006 season proved to be the best season of Beltran’s career.

The 8.2 WAR was the best of his career, and frankly, he was flat out robbed of the MVP award. His 41 homers tied Todd Hundley for what was then a Mets single season record (surpassed this year by Pete Alonso). He was an All-Star in addition to winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger.

This was easily the best season any Mets outfielder ever had, and it is in the conversation for best ever season by a Mets position player.

After the complete and utter disaster that the 2005 season was, Beltran immediately turned things around, and he set himself on a path which will eventually lead to his Hall of Fame induction.

Now, Beltran is going to have to take the lessons he learned in 2005 and help Edwin Diaz have a similar turnaround.

In 2018, Diaz was arguably the best closer in the game with a Major League leading 57 saves with a 0.791 WHIP and a 15.2 K/9. He was so great that year the Mets admitted to including Jarred Kelenic in a deal just to keep him away from the Phillies.

Like with Beltran in 2005, things were horrid for Diaz.

In addition to blowing seven saves and losing the closer’s role, Diaz allowed a career high 15 homers. To put it into perspective, Diaz allowed 15 homers over the 2017 and 2018 seasons combined.

He’d have a career worst 5.59 ERA, 9.0 H/9, 36 ER, 73 ERA+, 4.51 FIP, 1.379 WHIP, and other categories as well. It was a nightmare of a season which led to Mets fans first being frustrated and later booing him.

Through it all, like Beltran, Diaz remained incredibly talented. No matter how much people want to over emphasize the effect New York has on player performance, ultimately talent wins out in the end. No one knows that better than Beltran.

With Beltran now Diaz’s manager, he can pull his former Puerto Rican World Baseball Classic teammate aside and impart the wisdom which helped him overcome the adversity he faced his first year in New York to become a Hall of Famer.

Remember, Beltran is one of many who experienced struggles in his first year with the Mets, and he’s one of the few who overcame it and became an even better because of it. With him at the helm, he can make sure Diaz can have the very same transformation.

9 thoughts on “Carlos Beltran Experience Can Help Edwin Diaz”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    Seems a stretch that lessons learned from a CFer with a 2.9 WAR third best on his team is going to translate to a horrific closer. It would be more sensical to hire John Franco or Jesse Orosco or Roger McDowell.

    And, yes, I know McDowell is dead.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It’s not at all a stretch for one great player to explain to another great player the mental aspects of the job from what is largely a shared experience

      1. Oldbackstop says:

        Tell me how that convo goes? Is it some secret sauce? Vitamins? Gurus? Ab crunches? Unique to a Beltran?

        1. metsdaddy says:

          This is the type of comment I’ve come to expect from someone who thought Vargas was good and believes deGrom is a problem.

    2. Blair M. Schirmer says:

      @Oldbackstop — Agreed. It’s like saying, “I’ve done well living in NYC, you haven’t. Therefore my experience will help you,” while ignoring the host of other factors involved. I go back to the Beltran interview I transcribed where there isn’t a single original thought or even one mildly interesting baseball insight. Just the opposite.

      People claiming Beltran will help the Mets still haven’t pointed to one actual example in support of that claim. Where’s the interview–in a life filled with filmed interviews–where Beltran evinces real baseball acumen?

      He had 5 minutes in his introduction as manager, and all he showed us is that he’s a cliche machine as bad at public speaking as Callaway. If that’s unfair because it’s a public relations speech, where’s the rebuttal? Where’s the seminal Beltran interview or conversation?

      1. metsdaddy says:

        I don’t know how many times I can point you to the book Astroball.

        I’d also note it’s bizarre you don’t think a manager can help a player with the mental aspects of the game.

      2. Oldbackstop says:

        @blair. Once a position is taken by this blogger all one can expect here is personal attacks.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          This is rich considering the personal attacks you have directed towards me and my family along with the racist and sexist things you’ve posted here.

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