The New York Mets announced Thursday that closer Edwin Diaz will undergo surgery for his torn patellar tendon, likely ending his 2023 season before it even began.
Diaz was injured celebrating a World Baseball Classic (WBC) win Wednesday night as he closed out the game for his native Puerto Rico against rival (and tournament favorite) Dominican Republic.
Diaz had struck out the side en route to securing a 5-2 win for his team when he began jumping up and down to celebrate. He immediately collapsed on the mound and had to be brought off the field in a wheelchair while a clearly somber collection of players on both teams watched on and lent him their support.
Oh man. Not good. Edwin Diaz being helped off the field after celebrating the WBC win. pic.twitter.com/03HqexRmNn
— The 7 Line (@The7Line) March 16, 2023
Mets General Manager Billy Eppler announced Diaz would immediately receive surgery on the tendon, and remarked that “to nobody’s surprise [Diaz is] in great spirits actually. He’s a resilient human being, that’s why he’s the closer he is. Dude doesn’t get rattled.”
Eppler said the “general timeline for a surgery like this is about eight months.”
Diaz, regarded by many as the best closer in baseball, earned a five-year, $102 million contract from the Mets in November 2022 after a stellar season in New York.
“Edwin Diaz is a great human being and a fierce competitor. All of us at the Mets are shaken but determined to sustain our quest for a great season. We wish Edwin a speedy recovery,” Mets owner Steve Cohen tweeted Thursday.
Diaz’s injury sparked an online debate about the World Baseball Classic, an Olympics-style tournament that pits nations against each other and allows both big-leaguers and amateurs to represent their home nations.
To everyone hating on the WBC because of the Edwin Diaz injury, just know that you’re on the old man yelling at a cloud side of the fence on this one. pic.twitter.com/AjTyPvPVku
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) March 16, 2023
“I understand how Mets fans are hurting. But while for so many people the regular season is what counts, playing in the WBC means just as much to all of us,” Mets star shortstop and fellow Puerto Rican teammate Francisco Lindor said of the backlash, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera.