Mets’ GM Billy Eppler announced that Edwin Díaz suffered a torn patellar tendon in his right knee and will undergo surgery with Dr. David Altchek later today. Díaz suffered the injury while celebrating Puerto Rico’s win last night in the World Baseball Classic.
Eppler stopped short of giving an exact timeline for the closer’s recovery, but he gave a general timeframe of about eight months. Given that, it is almost certain that Díaz will miss the entire 2023 season. He said that Díaz was in “great spirits” despite the news, and did not want to speculate further about when we might see the right-hander again.
This is undoubtedly a big blow to the team’s chances to win a World Series in 2023. Díaz was instrumental in the club winning 101 games and returning to the postseason last year. Díaz was an NL All Star, tossing 62.0 innings and pitching to a 1.31 ERA, a 0.90 FIP, and a 0.83 WHIP with 118 strikeouts. He finished ninth in NL Cy Young voting and was essentially automatic, earning 32 saves in 35 tries.
As to where the Mets go from here, that’s anybody’s guess. They could give the role to David Robertson or Adam Ottavino, or go with a closer-by-committee approach, at least in the early stages of the season. But the fact remains that this is a really unfortunate thing for the franchise, its fans, the sport, and, most importantly, Díaz. The Mets are also expected to attend Zack Britton’s simulated game today in California, and he could be a potential free agent to fill in the bullpen.