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 successful repair of the patellar tendon in his right knee.
“To all my beloved fans, especially the 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 you guys in NY again and play those trumpets.”
The 28-year-old also assured his fans on Instagram that he’ll be just fine.
“Puerto Rico, I’m good,” he wrote in Spanish.
Diaz’s road to recovery will sideline him for the whole 2023 season and force manager Buck Showalter to find a new closer with two weeks left before Opening Day.
“We’ve got some good options,” Showalter told reporters Thursday regarding the now vacant closer role.
Former Yankee reliever David Robertson, who pitched in Thursday’s 3-0 loss against the Washington Nationals, could be at the top of the list to replace the best closer in baseball. Robertson made his second appearance of the spring against the Nationals Thursday, allowing one hit in just an inning of work. The right-hander signed a one-year deal 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 expect to fill that role.
“My plan coming here was to throw whenever Buck called on me and asked me to go pitch. It doesn’t matter to me when I pitch in the game — whether it’s the fifth [inning] or the ninth [inning]. If I’m asked to cover the ninth, I’ll do my best,” Robertson said Thursday.
The Mets garnered just four hits and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in Thursday’s loss. But the team got a good performance out of newcomer Kodai Senga.
Senga returned from injury with a sharp outing, allowing three hits and one earned run in three innings of work. The right-hander struck out five and allowed no walks.
The outing comes after he was scratched from Saturday’s start with right finger “discomfort.” It’s a good sign for a Mets’ squad that has been plagued with injuries to pitchers during spring training. Along with Diaz’s season-ending injury, Sam Coonrod will miss the start of the season with with a high-grade right lat strain.
Starter Jose Quintana won’t return until at least July after being shut down with a rib injury. Right-hander Bryce Montes de Oca was removed from his outing on Sunday with a forearm strain. Lefty David Peterson was hit with a comebacker over a week ago, but the 27-year-old avoided any major injuries.