New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz closed out the game to send Puerto Rico to the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic against the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. He had to be taken off the field in a wheelchair after he suffered a knee injury while celebrating the victory with his teammates. Diaz has helped off the field and did not appear to be putting much weight on his right leg.
The Met has said that Diaz injured his right knee and will undergo further screening on Thursday, at which point the team will provide an update. His brother Alexis was in tears after the injury. Alexis is a pitcher for the Reds and Puerto Rico teammate.
Edwin Diaz went down during Puerto Rico’s celebration….Mets fans aren’t gonna sleep tonight. pic.twitter.com/jSs0XvH385
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) March 16, 2023
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Diaz had just recorded the final out of the game and was crowded by teammates who started hugging him near the pitcher’s mound. He emerged from the celebration unable to put weight on his right knee and was helped to a wheelchair.
Diaz was a highly important figure for both Mets and Puerto Rico after a career season in which he posted a 1.31 ERA with 32 saves, a 0.839 WHIP, and 118 strikeouts in 62.0 innings.
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On March 22, the 29-year-old signed a five-year agreement worth $102 million last off-season. This is the biggest contract in MLV history for a reliever. On Wednesday, Diaz strikes out all three Dominican batters in the night to close out a 5-2 victory in the de facto elimination game and send Puerto Rico to the quarterfinals.
Major League Baseball players who participate in the WBC are required to be insured. The inability to secure insurance has, at times, forced players to withdraw from the tournament.
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If the injury proves to be serious, he would not be the first player to miss crucial time after hurting himself in the WBC. Drew Smyly missed the entire 2017 season and most of the 2018 season after suffering an injury as part of Team USA.