Edwin Díaz injury update: Mets closer hurts right knee during celebration of Puerto Rico’s WBC upset


New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz suffered a right knee injury on the field during Puerto Rico’s post-win celebration following a World Baseball Classic upset against the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. Díaz, who closed out the victory that sent Puerto Rico to the quarterfinals, was helped off the field and did not appear to be putting much, if any weight on his right leg.

The Mets have since said that Díaz injured his right knee and will undergo further imaging Thursday, at which point the team will provide an update.

It’s hard to tell exactly how Díaz hurt his knee, but here’s a look at the incident in question:

Díaz’s brother, Alexis  — a pitcher for the Reds and Puerto Rico teammate — was in tears after the injury.

Díaz, 29 years old on March 22, signed a five-year pact worth $102 million last offseason. He’s coming off a historic season that saw him post a 1.31 ERA (297 ERA+) and a 6.56 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 62 innings. He also finished with 32 saves over the course of 61 appearances.

Major League Baseball players who partake in the WBC are required to be insured. The inability to secure insurance has, at times, forced players to withdraw from the tournament. For example, Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was reportedly one such case earlier this spring.

If Díaz’s injury proves to be serious, he would not be the first player to miss significant time after hurting himself in the WBC. Drew Smyly missed the entire 2017 campaign and most of the 2018 season after suffering an injury as part of Team USA. It should be noted that partaking in the WBC has not necessarily been shown to increase a player’s odds of getting hurt.

Indeed, Ben Lindbergh of The Ringer crunched the numbers in 2017 and concluded the following: “the evidence of an injury effect isn’t strong enough to justify preventing players from participating, especially since a well-populated tournament is so much fun for fans — and, in the long term, potentially beneficial for baseball, which in turn enriches teams.”

As for the Mets, if Díaz were to miss at least the start of the season, they would ostensibly go to a committee approach in the ninth inning that featured a rotating cast of characters. The Mets retained Adam Ottavino and added David Robertson over the winter. They also acquired Brooks Raley, though he’s dealing with his own injury issues that forced him to withdraw from Team USA.