Before the Mets could even take the field against the Miami Marlins for Opening Day on March 30th, they received a big gut punch regarding Edwin Diaz. A torn patellar tendon during the World Baseball Classic ended his 2023 campaign before it even started. Or did it?
Once Diaz underwent surgery on March 16th, the initial prognosis for his recovery was 6-to-8 months. But of course, general manager Billy Eppler did his best to squash any optimism of Diaz returning on the earlier side of this timetable. Now that the closer is nearly three months into his recovery, though, he’s feeling optimistic about getting back on the mound before 2023 is in the books for New York.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic did a long feature on Edwin and his brother, Alexis Diaz. It’s all worth a read. But for Mets fans, what’s most intriguing is the comment Edwin made about potentially coming back in September:
If everything keeps going how it’s going, we’ve got a chance to pitch. The trainers and doctors will decide, but I feel great. Let’s see what’s coming for us.
In the immediate aftermath of his surgery, Rosenthal also mentioned Diaz attempted to speed up his recovery during the first six weeks by spending 25 two-hour sessions in a glass-enclosed hyperbaric chamber.
The Mets haven’t played all that consistently so far this season, but they’re still very much in the thick of things when it comes to the NL East. New York enters Thursday’s games with a 29-27 record, which is four games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves.
David Robertson has been terrific while filling in for Diaz as the Mets’ closer. Through 24.1 innings, he’s 2-0 with 10 saves, a 1.48 ERA, and a 0.95 WHIP. But still, if New York is racing toward the postseason come September, actually getting Diaz back in the bullpen would be an unbelievable boost. Across 62 innings in 2022, the right-hander posted a 1.31 ERA and 0.84 WHIP to go along with 32 saves and a 50.2% strikeout rate.