Puerto Rico’s celebration after beating the Dominican Republic came to a screeching halt when New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz went down in pain.
Diaz’s right knee gave out from under him and it has been revealed that the closer will undergo surgery for a full-thickness tear of the patellar tendon in his right knee.
This is a crushing blow for Puerto Rico, the World Baseball Classic in general, and most importantly, the Mets. Diaz was the best closer in the league last season and was expected to lock down close wins for the Mets in 2023.
While this may seem like the end of the world for Mets fans, there still is some hope.
WFAN’s Evan Roberts of the Audacy Original Podcast “Rico Brogna” explained why this isn’t a death knell to the Mets’ season before it even began.
“This is not a death knell to the season. I want to make that very clear. It hurts. It sucks. It’s bad. I feel horrible even telling my kid, who has the Edwin Diaz jersey and loves Narco,” Roberts said (4:01 in player above). “But I will make this very clear to you – and I’m saying this at 5:45 a.m. after recently finding out the news – this baseball team’s fate is not sealed by a closer not pitching this year.”
The Mets re-signed Adam Ottavino and added David Robertson this offseason for some bullpen depth. However, neither of them has the stuff or track record that Diaz has.
“I’m not suggesting David Robertson’s going to be better or Adam Ottavino’s going to be better or anybody else they’re going to acquire is going to be better,” Roberts continued. “But we’ve seen it before. The worst closers in baseball may blow five, six, seven, eight games. If you’re good enough you can overcome it. If the starting pitching is good enough you can overcome it. If your offense is good you can overcome it.”
This is a tough injury for the Mets, but as Roberts said, it’s not the end for New York.
The Mets scored the fifth-most runs last season and only added to that this offseason. They lost Jacob deGrom but added Justin Verlander. And while the rotation is taking its bumps and bruises, the Mets still have what it takes to be a competitive team even in a tough NL East division.
“Right now as Met fans you feel snakebitten and it goes back to that old ‘We’re not allowed to have nice things’ theory that most of us have,” Roberts concluded. “I wish the best of Edwin Diaz, and let this be a lesson, don’t celebrate unless you win the freaking World Series because then you have six months to rehab.”
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