The injury of significant pitchers is suddenly becoming “a thing” in the NL East, isn’t it? To the Phillies fifth-starter-hopeful, Andrew Painter, we now can add the Mets closer, Edwin Diaz.
Diaz, who signed a $102 million contract with New York last November, injured himself during a celebration near the pitcher’s mound after he closed Puerto Rico’s 5-2 win over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday night. The injury is to the right-hander’s right knee. The pitcher was initially carried from the spot where he fell by teammates, but eventually left the field in a wheelchair.
Some of his teammates and his brother, Alexis, openly wept at that time.
Things looked quite dire for Edwin Diaz almost immediately after his last save
According to the New York Post, Mets GM Billy Eppler then reported Thursday that the relief pitcher had suffered a torn patellar tendon, and likely would be out for eight months.
Other sources indicated Diaz would undergo surgery Thursday afternoon.
Edwin Diaz has been one of MLB’s most effective relievers for several years now, relying on a devastating slider almost 60 percent of the time and a very high-velocity, four-seam fastball.
Booking 32 saves in both 2021 and ’22 for the Mets, he joined a somewhat select group of MLB players named to the All-Star team in both leagues. He was also an AL All-Star in Seattle in 2018 when he led the majors with 57 saves in 73 appearances, finishing 65 games for the Mariners.
The injury situation prompted extensive and dramatic wailing and gnashing of teeth on social media by Mets fans with a number of posters damning the situation, seen as the loss of a star player in only an exhibition tournament.
Mets owner Steve Cohen also tweeted on the matter. He praised Edwin Diaz as “a great human being and fierce competitor” and wished him a quick recovery, which clearly will not happen.
He also declared his team “shaken but determined to sustain our quest for a great season.”