Edwin Diaz, the team’s All-Star closer, was removed from the field in Miami in a wheelchair after he was injured during Team Puerto Rico’s postgame celebration following a 5-2 victory over the Dominican Republic.
Diaz had just recorded the final out of the game and was crowded by teammates who began hugging him near the pitcher’s mound.
Diaz emerged from the celebration unable to put weight on his right knee and was helped to a wheelchair.
Diaz’s younger brother Alexis, also a reliever for Team Puerto Rico, was in tears as Edwin was helped from the field.
During the postgame celebrations, New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz injured his right knee and was carried off the field by teammates before being taken into the clubhouse in a wheelchair.
Diaz struck out the side to secure the win over the Dominican Republic, fanning Teoscar Hernández to close out the game. Teammates rushed to the mound and embraced Diaz, who was hurt in the euphoria. The Mets announced Wednesday night that Diaz would undergo imaging Thursday.
Diaz became a national sensation last season for the Mets, being summoned out of the bullpen to the sound of trumpets from the song “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet.
The 28-year-old had a 1.31 ERA in 2022, receiving Cy Young and MVP votes for a New York team that won 101 games. In the offseason he signed a new five-year, $102 million deal with the Mets – the largest contract ever for a relief pitcher.
“Those things, they can happen to anybody at any given time,” said Los Angeles Dodgers star outfielder Mookie Betts, who was playing for the United States when Díaz was hurt.
“You can always try to place blame on the WBC, but that was just a freak accident that could happen to anyone at any given time,” he said.
Mets teammates Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil also were with the U.S. team in a game against Colombia when a coach told them about Díaz.
“It’s just really heartbreaking to hear about Edwin,” Alonso said after a 3-2 win in Phoenix.
“Every day you show up to the yard, there’s a possibility of getting hurt. There’s hazard in the job. Anyone can get hurt at any given time. Anything can happen,” he said. “That’s the risk we run playing baseball. We’re athletes and injuries are unfortunately part of the game.”
It’s true that injuries can happen anytime in baseball. Infielder Gavin Lux tore his knee in a recent exhibition game for the Dodgers and is out for the season. Los Angeles teammate Freddie Freeman hurt his hamstring this week playing for Canada.
Still, the intensity of many WBC games is what often scares MLB teams about seeing their players in this event.
“Obviously there’s risk involved,” three-time AL MVP Mike Trout of the Angels said after helping the U.S. win. “You’re still playing baseball, and it’s spring training.”
Díaz was swarmed by teammates after pitching a perfect ninth inning in a 5-2 win that clinched Puerto Rico a spot in the WBC quarterfinals. The group was jumping together in the infield when the right-hander collapsed to the ground, and he immediately reached for his right leg.
As famous for his trumpet-driven entrance music as his dominant pitching, Díaz was in tears and did not put any weight on his right leg as a coach and trainer helped him limp toward the dugout.
Díaz’s brother, Reds pitcher Alexis Díaz, was also crying as Edwin was put in a chair and wheeled away. Mets teammate and Puerto Rico shortstop Francisco Lindor stood nearby with his hands on his head.
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