Notes: Díaz's music; prospects impressing

March 6th, 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Mariano Rivera had “Enter Sandman.” Trevor Hoffman had “Hells Bells.” ? He jogs in to “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet, and he won’t be changing it anytime soon -- not given how important he thinks it is to his success.

During his final two years with the Mariners, Díaz entered to “Narco,” an energetic, instrumental tune that features a bouncy trumpet line. But upon arriving in New York, Díaz changed his entrance music to “No Hay Limite,” a less upbeat song by Miky Woodz. Whether coincidentally or not, Díaz had his worst season as a professional -- seven blown saves, seven losses and a 5.59 ERA.

Last year, Díaz switched back to “Narco,” which he believes played a role in his renaissance -- a 1.75 ERA over 26 outings.

“Last year, in 2020, I wanted to do everything that gave me success back in my Seattle days,” Díaz said through an interpreter. “So I decided to go back to that. I’m going to stay with it because I feel comfortable with that music, and it kind of motivates me and energizes me to go out there and pitch.”

Díaz, who worked a perfect inning in the Mets' 6-1 win over the Astros on Saturday, enters this year as the Mets’ presumptive closer, even though manager Luis Rojas has hesitated to give him that tag. Particularly with Seth Lugo set to miss Opening Day due to injury, Díaz figures to earn the lion’s share of save opportunities in his third season with the Mets.

Wave of the future
The Mets brought a representative lineup to West Palm Beach for Saturday’s matinee against the Astros, but by the later innings of that game, an entirely different unit had taken the field. At shortstop was top-ranked prospect Ronny Mauricio. At third base was third-ranked prospect Brett Baty. Fifth-ranked prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong was in center, seventh-ranked Khalil Lee was in right, and eighth-ranked Mark Vientos was at first.

If the Mets have their way, their regular lineups several years from now will feature similar mixes.

“They’ve looked great,” Rojas said. “I can’t wait to keep watching them throughout camp, because they’re just going to keep getting better.”

As far as prospects go, Crow-Armstrong starred in the win over the Astros, flying around the bases after belting a stand-up triple into the right-field corner. Mauricio followed with an RBI single.

Vientos has likewise impressed the Mets with his plate approach in Grapefruit League play, drawing four walks in six plate appearances, while Baty has contributed a pair of opposite-field hits. New York invited all of its top prospects to camp this year to give them extra development time following a lost Minor League season in 2020.

Mets cetera
• Starting as the club's designated hitter, Dominic Smith clubbed his first home run of spring against Astros right-hander Seth Martínez.

• Pete Alonso continued his hot start to the Grapefruit League season with a pair of doubles, including one to the opposite field. Two of Alonso’s three spring hits have gone to right-center.

• New rotation addition Taijuan Walker will make his spring debut Tuesday in a 1:10 p.m. ET game against the Cardinals in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Marcus Stroman will start Sunday against the Marlins, followed by Jordan Yamamoto on Monday and Walker on Tuesday.