The New York Mets have lofty aspirations for the 2023 season, but they will now have to navigate a year without their star closer Edwin Diaz in order to reach those championship goals.
Diaz closed out a 5-2 win for Puerto Rico over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday night, and during the ensuing celebration as the team jumped up and down around him, Diaz fell to the ground grabbing at his right knee. Diaz was unable to walk off on his own power, eventually leaving the field in a wheelchair after being helped up by the training staff and teammates.
We just had a WBC Bill Gramatica moment pic.twitter.com/72wH4G3PsB
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 16, 2023
The concern that Diaz had suffered a significant injury that would cost him the entire MLB season was unfortunately confirmed on Thursday, with Jeff Passan bringing word that an MRI showed Diaz had torn his patellar tendon.
New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz tore the patellar tendon in his right knee during the celebration after Puerto Rico’s WBC victory against the Dominican Republic. He will need surgery and is expected to miss the season.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 16, 2023
With Diaz expected to miss the entire season, the Mets will have to find a new closer in short order, suddenly turning an area of strength into a major question mark for the franchise. The injury has also sparked plenty of conversation about the WBC and whether teams should let their players play, with Mets fans unsurprisingly upset to see one of their stars injured in the tournament. The argument of many is that it is a “meaningless exhibition,” but that doesn’t exactly track with the emotion you see from the guys on the field and the packed stadiums watching the tournament. It isn’t a huge deal for the U.S., which is why the backlash is happening, but in Puerto Rico, Japan, Dominican Republic, and elsewhere, it is a huge deal and sometimes freak accidents just happen.