Seattle Mariners

Servais says he’s not likely to vary Diaz’s role

Manager Scott Servais plans to stick with Edwin Diaz in the ninth inning.
Manager Scott Servais plans to stick with Edwin Diaz in the ninth inning. AP

The recent postseason created a buzz regarding the use of closers — specifically should they be used at critical points prior to the ninth inning as Cleveland manager Terry Francona often employed Andrew Miller.

Don’t expect Mariners manager Scott Servais to copy that approach next season with Edwin Diaz.

"Andrew Miller, where he was at contract-wise (was) probably paid like a closer," Servais said. "But you have to be a big team player to do that, and I tip my hat to him.

"But looking at Eddie Diaz…when you’re playing every day, you’ve got to be cautious there. If you’re going to fire him in there in the seventh, and run him back out in the eighth one night, and the next night he’s in the ninth inning, in a perfect world for a fan, you would love to see (it).

"Playing it out over the course of 162 games, it’s really hard to do that. You’ve got to be cautious where they’re at."

Servais said that ensuring relievers get the necessary rest proved to be one of his biggest challenges last season as a rookie manager.

"One of the first things I learned as a manager," he said, "is how many nights you don’t have your entire bullpen available. This guy needs a day down. This guy is not available. It happens way more times than I ever anticipated.

"The average fan doesn’t see that every night. `Why wouldn’t he put so-and-so in the game here?’ He's not available tonight. He’s gone four out of the last five, or five out of six, and you need to give him a blow. A lot of time, that plays into it.

"In the playoffs you got days off. It's just a different animal."

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners