The New York Mets will spend the 2023 MLB season without their star closer. Edwin Diaz tore the patellar tendon in his right knee while celebrating Puerto Rico’s World Baseball Classic victory Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Basson.
Diaz will undergo surgery to repair the injury, which is expected to keep him out for the rest of the year.
Diaz was injured after completing Puerto Rico’s victory over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. The win sent Puerto Rico into the quarterfinals.
After the win, members of the Puerto Rico team gathered on the field and jumped up and down. Diaz injured himself during the scrum, although the incident was not caught by cameras at the event. When the broadcast went back to a scrum, a handful of players huddled around Diaz, who was on the ground clutching his right knee.
Diaz left the stadium in a wheelchair. Edwin’s brother and teammate Alexis Diaz was seen crying as he left the scene.
Diaz injury sparks debate at World Baseball Classic
The circumstances surrounding the injury prompted questions about whether it was worth Major League Baseball players participating in the World Baseball Classic. Diaz, who signed a five-year, $102 million contract with the Mets in November, will not play for the team in 2023 after being injured while playing for another club.
Will more MLB players pull out of the event due to injury fears? Will teams bar their players from participating in future World Baseball Classics? Will the event all fold together?
Venezuela manager Omar López doesn’t believe any of that will come to pass. He pointed out how important it is to have so many players representing their countries on such a big stage.
Lopez also noted that players can get injured at any time. MLB has had its fair share of unusual injuries. Sammy Sosa once injured his back when he sneezed, Clint Farms injured himself carrying venison down the stairs, and Eric Aybar once missed a game. Sticky chicken bone in his throat.
Being a professional athlete comes with strange and unlikely injuries. What’s more, every year MLB players get injured during exhibition spring training games, this year’s Gavin Lucks being a prime example.
The Mets will need bullpen help without Diaz
Diaz’s injury leaves the Mets without their primary closer for 2023. Diaz was the best reliever in baseball last season, posting a 1.31 ERA and 32 saves in 62 innings. He was named to the All-Star team for the second time in his career and received low-key MVP votes.
Currently, the Mets have Adam Ottavino and David Robertson to fill in for Diaz. Ottavino and Robertson both turned in great seasons in 2022 and have experience finishing games. With Diaz gone, the Mets may look for another option in the pen, but either way, the team is still expected to be one of the best in the National League.