Diego spent the offseason training in the Dominican Republic...He is the youngest of 10 children…he has six brothers and three sisters...Diego is known to cook for his teammates…he learned to cook as a 10-year-old by watching his mother in the kitchen…he once shared his special family recipe of chicken, rice and plantains in a November 2016 cooking video on the Rays Twitter account.
Recalled from Triple-A Durham on June 5, his first career major league action, and remained with the Rays through the end of the season… his 43 apps ranked 8th among AL rookies and 5th after the date of his call up...Min. 50 IP, his .178 opp avg. (36-for-202) led the AL…it was the best mark by an AL rookie since NYY Dellin Betances (.149) in 2014...Made 32 relief apps and 11 starts as an opener… he and Ryne Stanek became the first pair of rookie teammates in major league history to each make at least 10 starts and 30 relief apps...His avg. fastball velocity was 97.7 mph, according to StatCast, and his max velocity was 101.9 mph in his start on Sep 19 at TEX....His 11 starts all came over his final 14 outings, and the Rays went 9-2 in those starts…seven of his last 8 apps came as an opener…recorded a 2.65 ERA (17-IP, 5-ER) with 2 BB and 21 SO as a starter…posted a 3.40 ERA (39.2-IP, 15-ER) with 16 BB and 44 SO as a reliever...Recorded multiple strikeouts in the first 5 apps of his career, all as a reliever, the first reliever to do that since LAD Grant Dayton in 2016 and first in the AL since TEX Neftalí Feliz in 2009, according to Baseball Reference…is the only Rays reliever to ever begin his career in this fashion...On June 6 at WAS, made his major league debut and pitched a perfect 7th inning, including strikeouts of Brian Goodwin and Trea Turner...On June 13 vs. TOR, recorded his first career win in his fourth career app…his only baserunner allowed in 2 IP was a 8th-inning, 2-out single...On July 1 vs. HOU, inherited the bases loaded with 1 out in the 8th inning…struck out José Altuve on a 10-pitch at-bat and got a groundout for the third out…the Rays held on to win, 3-2...On Aug 19 at BOS, made his first career start and did not allow a run in 1.2 IP…in 14 apps (11 starts) from the date of his first start through the end of the season, he threw 50 pitches clocked at 100 mph or more…did this only once in his first 29 apps of the season...The Rays won his first 6 starts, the second time they won the first 6 starts of a pitcher's Rays career, joining Tanyon Sturtze (7-0) in 2000-01...Recorded a 1.72 ERA (15.2-IP, 3-ER) in 10 apps (8 starts) in September…from Aug 8 through season's end, went 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA (27.2-IP, 6-ER) in 18 apps (11 starts)...Named the Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May…did not allow a run in 10 apps spanning 14.2 IP, with 0 BB and 18 SO.
Split the season between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham, earning a June 3 promotion…marked the third straight year he received an in-season promotion…combined to go 4-5 with a 2.76 ERA (71.2-IP, 22-ER) and 15 saves in 51 apps (1 start) between the two levels...Named Minor League Reliever of the Year by the Rays Baseball Operations department…led the Rays system in saves (15) for a second consecutive year.... His 2.76 ERA was a career low…his 4 wins, 51 apps, 15 saves, 71.2 IP and 90 SO were all career highs, as were his 11.30 SO/9 IP and 4.50 SO/BB ratios... Recorded the save in the Governors' Cupclinching win over Scranton/WilkesBarre (Yankees) and the Triple-A National Championship Game over Memphis (Cardinals)… did not allow a run in 4 apps in the IL postseason spanning 5 IP (1-H, 0-BB, 8-SO).... Made one relief app for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League... Named to the Rays Organizational All-Star Team by MLB.com... Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 29 prospect in the Rays system following the season… the publication noted he has touched 101 mph with his fastball.