Having identified what they believe to be the problem with struggling closer Edwin Diaz, the Mariners are now looking for the best situation for him to test his adjustments in a game situation.
That could come as soon as Friday’s game against the Chicago White Sox at Safeco Field.
"You might see him right after the starter," manager Scott Servais said in his daily pre-game news briefing. "You might see one of the length guys, then Diaz. I don’t want to look up and have him as the only guy standing in the ninth inning.
"We somehow need to get him in a less-leveraged situation."
The Mariners pulled Diaz out of his closer duties after he nearly squandered a three-run lead Monday in the ninth inning before Tony Zych closed out a 6-5 victory over Oakland.
That was one day after Diaz surrendered a walk-off homer to Kevin Pillar in a 3-2 loss at Toronto.
A sensation a year ago as a rookie, Diaz now sports a 5.28 ERA and has issued 10 walks in his 15 1/3 innings. The Mariners believe the problem is he is rushing through his delivery.
That led to a series of sessions this week with pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr.
Servais said, "He’s starting to get a feel and understanding for staying back over the rubber. His mechanics…he rushes through so quickly that his arm can’t catch up. That’s where the straight fastballs come from."
It’s an easy fix — in theory.
"You can practice it on the side all you want," Servais said. "When the adrenaline starts, and you’re on the mound, then you’ve got to see if you can put it in play."
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners