Mets closer Edwin Diaz is expected to begin a rehab program in about a week, the team announced Thursday. The announcement came after Diaz underwent a successful patellar tendon repair in his right knee.
“To all my dear fans, especially Mets fans, I want to let you know that I am doing well and healing,” Diaz posted on his Twitter account. “I feel blessed and grateful for your support with messages and prayers, thank you very much! I can’t wait to see them again in New York and blow those trumpets.”
The 28-year-old also assured his fans on Instagram that he will be fine.
“Puerto Rico, I’m fine,” he wrote in Spanish.
Diaz’s road to recovery will sideline him for the entire 2023 season and force manager Buck Showalter to find a new closer two weeks before Opening Day.
“We have some good options,” Showalter told reporters Thursday regarding the vacant closer’s job.
( Despite Mets closer Edwin Diaz’s knee injury, players are quick to say not to blame the World Baseball Classic )
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Former Yankees reliever David Robertson, who pitched in Thursday’s 3-0 loss against the Washington Nationals, could top the list to replace baseball’s best closer. Robertson made his second appearance of the spring against the Nationals on Thursday, allowing one hit in just one inning of work. The right-hander signed a one-year contract in December, probably not expecting to make most of his appearances for the Mets in the ninth inning.
But with Diaz’s sudden injury, the veteran could look forward to filling that role.
“My plan to come here was to pitch every time Buck called me and asked me to pitch. I don’t care when I pitch in the game, whether it’s the fifth (inning) or the ninth (inning). If they ask me to cover the ninth, I’ll do the best I can,” Robertson said Thursday.
The Mets got just four hits and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in Thursday’s loss. But the team got a good performance from newcomer Kodai Senga.
Senga returned from injury with a great start, allowing three hits and one earned run in three innings of work. The right-hander struck out five and did not allow a walk.
The start comes after he was knocked out of Saturday’s start with “trouble” in his right finger. It’s a good sign for a Mets team that has been plagued with pitching injuries during spring training. Along with Diaz’s season-ending injury, Sam Coonrod will miss the start of the season with a high-grade right-back strain.
Starter Jose Quintana won’t return until at least July after being sidelined with a rib injury. Right-hander Bryce Montes de Oca was pulled from his outing Sunday with a forearm strain. Left-hander David Peterson took a return hit more than a week ago, but the 27-year-old avoided serious injury.