Edwin Díaz injury: Four routes Mets can take to fill gaping bullpen hole after WBC calamity

The New York Mets took a big hit Wednesday night when Edwin Diaz suffered a torn patellar tendon in his right knee while celebrating on the Puerto Rico field after defeating the Dominican Republic in the decider. The world classic game of baseball. Diaz to undergo surgery and is expected to miss eight monthsprobably ending his season.

“We won’t be updating the Edwin timeline for a while,” Mets general manager Billy Eppler said. Newsday And Fox Sports on Thursday. “… No one was surprised that he was in a great mood. Last night when he was talking to me, he said, “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine”.

The injury is an accident with Diaz seemingly doing nothing but jumping up and down with his teammates. The celebration was not aggressive. There wasn’t a bunch of dogs, or abandoned people, or anything like that. Sometimes bad things happen, and Diaz’s injury is a misfortune that happened.

While Diaz’s injury is the most serious, it’s not the only pitching injury the Mets have suffered over the past week. Lefty José Quintana out of action until mid-season with rib injury and deep pitchers Sam Coonrod (lats strain) and Bryce Montes de Oca (elbow stress response) recently retired from spring practice games due to injuries.

Here’s what the New York Opening Day bullpen could look like following Diaz’s injury:

  • Closer: RHP David Robertson
  • Tune: RHP Adam Ottavino, LHP Brooks Reilly
  • Middle: RHP John Curtiss, RHP Tommy Hunter, RHP Stephen Nogosek, RHP Drew Smith
  • Long: RHP Eliezer Hernandez

One of Tylor Megill and David Peterson will enter the rotation to replace Quintana, while the other could move to the bullpen. Other bullpen candidates include left-hander Joey Lucchesi, who is returning from Tommy John surgery; right-handers Jeff Brigham, Stephen Ridings and Jimmy Yakabonis; and Buck Showalter’s favorite left-hander TJ McFarland.

The opening is in two weeks and, of course, Eppler will be looking into the market to see if it makes sense to use free agents or trades to help replace Diaz, not that Diaz can be replaced. He’s the best pitcher in the sport and that, by definition, makes him indispensable. All you can do is try to replace as much of the lost loot and depth as possible.

With that in mind, here’s a look at New York’s bullpen options after Diaz’s knee injury.

1. Hold on to what they have

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David Robertson

NYM • RP • #30

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IP63 2/3

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Always the most likely course of action this late spring. Free agent and trading options are limited, plus agents and potential trading partners smell blood in the water. They know the Mets just lost Diaz to a serious injury and will raise prices accordingly. The injury is unfortunate, but no one feels sorry for Diaz and the Mets.

Ottavino, Reilly and Robertson are a solid endgame trio — Robertson has been field tested in New York given his time with the Yankees — and Curtis made an impression this spring returning from Tommy John surgery. However, pitchers are unpredictable, even great ones. Just look at Diaz. He was not a confidant, his first few years at the Mets were closed.

Given what’s available now (i.e. not much) and the overall bullpen volatility, for Eppler & Co. it would be wise to take this bullpen into the season and see how things change before making changes. Who knows, maybe they have a hidden gem in Curtiss or the next pit-pitter in Ridings hard throws. It could take a few weeks for the Mets to see what they have and then reevaluate.

2. Sign as a free agent

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Zach Britton


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One name immediately comes to mind: Zach Britton. Britton remains unsigned, and he and Showalter know each other well from their years together with the Baltimore Orioles. Britton, now 35, has missed most of 2022 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He returned at the end of the season, went through six of the nine batters he faced, and then suffered a shoulder injury at the end of the season.

The Mets are expected to take part in Britton’s showcase on Thursday. according to New York Post, and they were linked to him for several weeks, given Showalter’s connection. Diaz’s injury could boost their interest. How much Britton can help after Tommy John surgery and a shoulder injury isn’t clear, but that’s why he’s holding the showcase. To show the teams he’s ready to go.

Other free agent pitchers include pitchers Archie Bradley, Ken Giles and Corey Knebel. Mike Minor started out in the last few years, but he has bullpen experience, and Chris Archer could be a sneaky good candidate for a rookie-to-assistant transformation given his interesting slider stats and first-order success in 2022.

Butters faced MEDIUM/RBR/SLG Strikeout rate Walking speed

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Britton is the most famous name and the Showalter connection cannot be ignored. Others such as Bradley, Giles, and Knebel have name value, although they are all recovering from injuries such as Britton. After that, you move on to Starter Types #6 and Triple-A Deep Sleeves. If you need an outfielder, Yurikson Profar is available. If you need relief, free agency has much less to offer.

3. Try to find a trading partner

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Alexis Diaz

KIN • RP • #43

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IP63 2/3


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