Jose Diaz

Born: February 27, 1984
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 300
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: International Free Agent, 2001 (L.A. Dodgers)
How Acquired: Minor League FA
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: N/A


Diaz had four elbow surgeries during his time with the Dodgers from 2001-07, three of them for bone chips, while the fourth was Tommy John surgery.  He’s reportedly been in the upper-90s often with his fastball, sometimes hitting 100, although he’s mostly been in the mid-90s when I’ve seen him pitch for Bowie in the Orioles’ system.  He threw in the upper-90s in camp with the Pirates.  There’s nothing at all tricky about him; he just flings the ball hard toward the plate.  Although lists him at 300, he’s probably a good deal heavier than that.  Diaz himself has said he’s reluctant to lose weight because he might lose velocity.  He’s been very successful as a closer for the Orioles the last two years.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league deal for 2012.

R:  3-1-0, 1.95 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 32.1 IP, 3.3 BB/9, 7.2 K/9
R+:  1-1-0, 3.65 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 4.4 BB/9, 10.2
A:  1-1-0, 3.94 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 16.0 IP, 5.6 BB/9, 3.9 K/9

Diaz had a good debut in the US, pitching mainly as a starter at three levels and doing well at the first two.

R+:  0-0-0, 3.86 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 2.1 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
A:  0-1-0, 7.04 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 15.1 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 4.7 K/9

The injury problems started, as Diaz was able to pitch fewer than 18 innings.

A:  1-4-14, 2.12 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 34.0 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 15.6 K/9
A+:  0-1-6, 1.64 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 4.1 BB/9, 12.3 K/9

The Dodgers moved Diaz to the bullpen and he saved 20 games between the two class A levels, posting extremely high K rates and not allowing many hits.

R:  0-0-0, 4.50 ERA, 0.50 WHIP, 2.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
A+:  0-1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 15.2 IP, 6.9 BB/9, 10.3 K/9

Diaz appeared in only 16 games.

R:  0-0-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2.0 IP, 0.0 BB/9, 0.0 K/9
A+:  0-1-2, 5.27 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 7.2 K/9
AA:  0-1-0, 3.46 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 2.8 K/9

More elbow problems, as Diaz appeared in only 18 games.

A:  0-0-0, 6.75 ERA, 3.75 WHIP, 1.1 IP, 20.2 BB/9, 0.0 K/9

Diaz pitched in just two games and then had Tommy John surgery.

Did not play

Diaz was recovering from the surgery.

AA:  3-1-10, 3.63 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 39.2 IP, 5.2 BB/9, 8.4 K/9

Diaz signed with Texas and had a good season as the closer in AA.


A+:  3-0-12, 1.69 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 26.2 IP, 3.0 BB/9, 11.1 K/9
AA:  1-0-4, 2.16 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 25.0 IP, 4.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9

The Rangers wanted Diaz to pitch in Mexico, but when he refused they released him at the start of the season.  Diaz signed with the Orioles and split the season between high A and AA, mostly returning to his 2004 form.

AA:  0-2-22, 1.41 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 32.0 IP, 3.7 BB/9, 10.7 K/9
AAA:  0-0-1, 5.68 ERA, 2.29 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 5.7 BB/9, 7.1 K/9

Diaz re-signed with Baltimore and mainly served as the closer in AA, putting up outstanding numbers.

AAA:  1-2-3, 3.60 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 45.0 IP, 3.8 BB/9, 7.4 K/9

The Pirates assigned Diaz to Indianapolis, where he served mainly as a setup man.  He didn’t dominate the way he did in the lower minors, no doubt because it’s harder to rear back and throw the ball by upper level hitters.  His lower K rate shows he was easier to hit and he had control issues at times.  One of the Indians’ season highlights came when Diaz stole third in the final regular season game.

Diaz will pitch the 2013 season at age 29, so it’s very likely that he’s reached his ceiling.  He makes a good AAA depth guy, though, so the Pirates could try to bring him back.

Baseball Reference–Minors
2012: Minor league contract
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2002
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: Eligible
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
May 14, 2001: Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers as an international free agent.
November 1, 2007: Became a free agent.
October 25, 2008: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Texas Rangers.
March 29, 2010: Released by the Texas Rangers.
April 15, 2010: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
November 6, 2010: Became a free agent.
December 21, 2010: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
November 2, 2011: Became a free agent.
November 8, 2011: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.