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Injury Update and Rehab Progress on Edwin Díaz

Edwin Díaz, recipient of 2022 National League LatinoMVP Relief/Closer award - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

FLUSHING, NY — In the early stages of Wednesday’s pre-game at Citi Field, only a handful of Pirates and Mets were out on the diamond, stretching and working through their normal routines. That’s often the case on a getaway (travel) day in August. 

However; in right-field, just before the warning track, there was one player that stood out more than the rest. And that was Edwin Díaz, the 29-year-old Mets All-Star closer from Naguabo, Puerto Rico, who is currently recovering from a torn patella tendon in his right-knee. The devastating injury occurred at the World Baseball Classic this past March in Team Puerto Rico’s upset-victory over the Dominican Republic (3/15/2023). 

Edwin Díaz talks with Latino Sports prior to a WBC Pool D game – Image Credit: Latino Sports

Five months later — specifically, five months and one day since the injury (8/16/2023), Díaz graced the mound for the first time, pitching in a bullpen session. 

Mets manager Buck Showalter asked those in the pre-game press conference: “You guys see Edwin today? He threw down in the bullpen, it was good. Part of his progressions.”

Buck Showalter pre-game press conference at Citi Field – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Essentially, Díaz has made significant strides in his rehab process, and could potentially return before the end of the 2023 season. Although the timeline is not definitive, the Mets are confident and happy with what the results have shown so far. 

“Bottom line is his health,” Showalter said regarding the decision-process. “If he’s healthy enough to do it and it’s in his best interest, and it’s best for the Mets then, Billy (Eppler – Mets general manager) and the medical staff, will deem it.”

Showalter also noted: “He’s done everything we’ve asked of him and then some. The only thing we had to do was slow him down some.”

“In a lot of ways it’s a unique injury, and not in a good way all-the time. But, our guys (medical staff) have some history. They spend a lot of time looking at the history of this, and how you go about it and the time frames. There’s not a lot of things that you can tap into, in a baseball closer situation, but we’ll see — he’s gonna give himself every chance to be as good, and who knows… I don’t know how you can be better than he was last year, but he’s chasing it.” 

Edwin Díaz – Image Credit: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

Last year, Díaz posted a 1.31 season-ERA, while completing 32 saves with 118 strikeouts across 62 innings — 17.13 strikeouts/per nine innings, the second-best in a full season in Major League history. He was named the recipient of the 2022 NL LatinoMVP Relief/Closer award by the Latino Sports Writers and Broadcasters Association, marking the second LatinoMVP Relief/Closer award for Díaz in his career — 2018 AL LatinoMVP Relief/Closer award as a member of the Seattle Mariners. 

Edwin Díaz: Recipient of 2018 LatinoMVP America League Relief/Closer Award and recipient of 2022 LatinoMVP National League Reliever/Closer Award Image Credit: Latino Sports

Next month, during Hispanic Heritage Month, Díaz will be presented the 2022 NL LatinoMVP Relief/Closer award in a special on-the-field pre-game ceremony at his home ballpark of Citi Field.

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and co-editor of Latino Sports – Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com

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