We already knew Mets manager Buck Showalter wasn’t thrilled with so many of his players participating in the World Baseball Classic this year. Unfortunately, his worry has been validated twice so far during the tournament. First, it was Brooks Raley leaving Team USA with a hamstring injury. Now, it’s Edwin Diaz with what looks like a serious knee injury.
The severity of Diaz’s injury isn’t yet publicly known. However, it didn’t look good at all. After getting hurt on the field during Team Puerto Rico’s celebration Wednesday night, he couldn’t put any weight on his right leg, had to be carried off the field, and used a wheelchair upon reaching the dugout.
It’s safe to assume that Mets Twitter is in shambles and everyone is fearing the worst. The Mets announced he’ll get further testing on Thursday and they will publicly update “when appropriate”. But it sure seems like we’ll just find out whether he’s lost for the year or not at that point.
This is just the latest in a recent string of injuries to the Mets’ bullpen, too.
In less than a week, the Mets have taken a serious bullpen hit, losing Brooks Raley to a hamstring strain, Bryce Montes de Oca to a stress reaction in his elbow, Sam Coonrod to a lat strain and now Edwin Díaz to a knee injury. Only Raley seems likely to be there Opening Day.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 16, 2023
New York had been looking into other veteran relievers prior to Spring Training. General manager Billy Eppler ultimately decided to pass at the time because he wanted to keep his bullpen flexible with relievers who had minor-league options. Unfortunately, there may be a spot open for another hurler.
We don’t know what Showalter would do yet, but it can be assumed that David Robertson would slide into the primary closer role should Diaz be out for an extended period of time. As for a veteran reliever to add, the Mets were already planning to attend Zack Britton’s workout on Thursday.
Hearing that Britton is throwing in a showcase for teams Thursday in Miami Gardens and the Mets are expected to attend. https://t.co/A06NbUxTNd
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) March 16, 2023
Their legitimate interest in Britton and any other available veteran hurlers just skyrocketed, though.
This is an extremely unfortunate circumstance for Diaz, the Mets, and Major League Baseball. Diaz has turned into one of the league’s best relievers, and his entrance song has made him even more popular. The game needs him healthy, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now. The only question that remains is how long the Mets will have to play without Diaz locking down the back of their bullpen.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.