Díaz Opts to Sit Out Rest of Mets' Season Due to Safety Concerns

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Díaz Opts to Sit Out Rest of Mets’ Season Due to Safety Concerns

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Mets Closer Edwin Díaz Won’t Return to Mound This Season

After undergoing surgery on March 16 to repair the patellar tendon in his right knee, New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz will not make a return to the big-league mound this season, according to pitching coach Jeremy Hefner. Instead, Díaz will continue to focus on bullpen sessions as he prepares for the offseason.

Hefner expressed concerns about the risk of fielding and the possibility of a ball being hit back at Díaz, particularly when covering first base or fielding a bunt. However, he mentioned that pitching itself is not a significant concern at the moment.

Hefner emphasized that Díaz is an integral part of the team, but the Mets cannot afford to jeopardize his chances for next year by risking reinjury to his knee, which has already posed an unprecedented challenge.

The decision to prioritize Díaz’s long-term health and readiness for the next season reflects the Mets’ cautious approach and concern for their star closer’s well-being.

Díaz strikes out side in 9th Sep 28, 2022 · 1:06 Díaz strikes out side in 9th Photo Cradit: mlb.com

Manager Showalter Cautions Against Rushing Díaz’s Return; Focuses on Safety First

Díaz will continue his bullpen sessions throughout September, potentially culminating in a simulated game against live hitters. His offseason will involve ongoing knee rehabilitation exercises, but he should enjoy a standard offseason regimen for arm care, thanks to his careful summer progression.

Díaz, the reigning National League Reliever of the Year, sustained a torn patellar tendon in his right knee while celebrating Team Puerto Rico’s victory over the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic in March. His immediate surgery was followed by six months of dedicated rehabilitation, with hopes of making a late-season return. However, the Mets’ change in circumstances, as they fell out of playoff contention, shifted the focus to prioritize Díaz’s long-term health.

The surgery typically carries an eight-month recovery timeline, extending into November.

Edwin Díaz’s 102.8 mph K Sep 1, 2022 · 0:42 Edwin Díaz’s 102.8 mph K Photo Cradit: mlb.com

Díaz’s remarkable recovery has been so swift that, had the Mets been in playoff contention, he might have already returned to MLB games. The mere prospect of doing so served as a powerful motivational tool for Díaz during his rehab. Last season, he struck out 118 batters in 62 innings, boasting a 1.31 ERA.

Pitching coach Hefner emphasized Díaz’s dedication and determination throughout the rehab process. While Díaz understood the circumstances, the tantalizing possibility of pitching in a game significantly fueled his recovery efforts.

At 29 years old, Díaz, who inked a five-year, $102 million contract last November, remains under team control for the next four seasons.

Hefner acknowledged Díaz’s unwavering commitment, stating, ‘He did everything in his power to get back to pitching in games. We just didn’t do our job on the team side in allowing him that chance.

Reference:

https://www.mlb.com/news/edwin-diaz-won-t-pitch-for-mets-in-2023

https://nypost.com/2023/09/18/edwin-diaz-wont-try-to-pitch-for-mets-in-2023-after-knee-injury/

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