The Mets held a workout at loanDepot park on Wednesday to prepare for Thursday afternoon’s Opening Day tilt against the Miami Marlins. Unfortunately, not everyone is preparing to play. Edwin Diaz is just starting rehab after his knee surgery, and Francisco Lindor still misses him dearly.
Just in case the relief pitcher is unsure, all he has to do is check his Instagram comments:
Francisco Lindor on Edwin Díaz’s most recent Instagram post pic.twitter.com/d4Ndrs24lx
— Metsmerized Online (@Metsmerized) March 29, 2023
If Lindor’s comment doesn’t speak for all Mets fans, then I don’t know what does. In the aftermath of Diaz’s World Baseball Classic injury, the shortstop spoke candidly about how he felt seeing it happen:
Francisco Lindor says he "couldn't stop crying" over Edwin Díaz's injury at the WBC:
"I never knew I loved Edwin so much until I couldn't stop crying. That's when I realized I loved Edwin a lot… It broke my heart. It did not feel good." pic.twitter.com/7EnhYg6EAW
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 21, 2023
The absence of Diaz leaves a gaping hole in the Mets’ bullpen. Francisco Lindor and everyone else knows he’s irreplaceable. And while New York will supplement the bullpen at some point, there’s no need to right now. But who is in line to take over ninth-inning duties?
Manager Buck Showalter noted David Robertson could get the majority of those opportunities. However, he won’t necessarily name him the primary closer:
The Mets are not naming a closer in Edwin Díaz's absence.
Buck Showalter said he can see one pitcher getting the bulk of chances, and "obviously [Robertson] has probably the strongest background" with 157 career saves. But Ottavino, Raley, even Smith could also pitch the ninth.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 29, 2023
It’s impossible to not be excited for Mets games to start counting again, but there will be a little twinge of sadness to not see Diaz trotting out of New York’s bullpen in a big spot. Like Francisco, we’ll just be sitting here, missing him (hopefully while the Mets rack up a bunch of wins).
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You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.