Diaz focusing on closer role after seeing brother’s injury

Published 2:05 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Alexis Diaz poses for a photograph during MLB spring training baseball photo day in Goodyear, Ariz., Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GOODYEAR, AZ (AP) — Alexis Díaz is now focusing on what is expected to a prominent role for him in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen after the shock of seeing his older brother get hurt while they played together for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

Edwin Díaz, the All-Star closer for the New York Mets, is expected to miss the entire season after surgery last week for a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. He was hurt while celebrating a WBC victory.

“In regards to my brother, it was tough,” Alexis Díaz said Monday at the Reds camp in Goodyear, Arizona. “I was there celebrating with him and I saw him fall to his knees afterward. … The next couple days were really tough. We were supposed to have a grand old time. Seeing him in the locker room really put me down right after that.”

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Alexis Díaz said he has been in communication with his brother through the whole process. He said his brother told him that he’s good and will be coming back with a positive mentality.

“I feel better now,” the younger Díaz said. “I’ve kind of come down from that moment.”

Díaz was 7-3 with a 1.84 ERA in 59 games as a rookie for Cincinnati last season. He had 10 saves, seven of them after the start of August.

After spending some time with Díaz, manager David Bell said he is confident that the Reds reliever is going to be fine.

“It’s one thing when it’s your teammate, but it’s his brother. It is tough,” Bell said.

“He seemed to be in a very good frame of mind. Emotionally, he’s fine and ready to get back to pitch.”