Following Edwin Diaz’s shocking post-win celebration injury at the WBC, the New York Mets will be scrambling to fill the shoes of one of the most dominant closers in the game. Who will they turn to for help closing games until Díaz returns?
After closing out Puerto Rico’s 5-2 win over the Dominican Republic to clinch a berth in the World Baseball Classic quarterfinals, Edwin Díaz went down in a heap with an apparent right knee injury. The New York Mets closer could not put any weight on his leg and had to be carted off the field amid a celebration-turned-sour for his heartbroken teammates.
While we don’t know the extent of the injury or how long Díaz will be out, the Mets will immediately make backup plans for an extended absence. Díaz will be a tough act to follow, though. He’s collected 32 saves in each of the last two seasons, posting a gaudy 50.2% strikeout rate last year.
Whether the Mets decide on a single replacement or go with a committee, they have a lot of experience at the back of the bullpen. Here are the best three options they have at the moment.
3. David Robertson could be an Edwin Diaz injury replacement for the Mets
David Robertson has been around since 2008, most recently saving 20 games for the Cubs and Phillies last season. After signing a one-year, $10M free agent deal with the Mets in the offseason, Robertson looked to be the de facto setup man for Díaz heading into 2023.
With 157 saves to his credit over a 14-year career, he has the experience to close out games on the big stage in New York. Especially when you consider he spent his first seven seasons with the Yankees and saved 39 games in his final season in the Bronx.
The soon-to-be 38-year-old won’t be as dominant as Díaz (but then who is?). Although he had a solid strikeout rate of 30.7 percent last season, he also had a 13.3 percent walk rate. While that is still more walks than his career mark of 10 percent, it may not be the type of tight, ninth-inning performance manager Buck Showalter will want to see on a regular basis.
While FanGraphs’ Roster Resource currently has Robertson listed as the Mets’ closer, time will tell if he can lock down the job or if the team opts to go with the next candidate.