The trumpets will be silent at Citi Field this season, as Edwin Diaz’s right knee won’t allow such revelry.
The Mets closer are expected to miss the season after an MRI exam confirmed the worst: he fully tore the patellar tendon in his right knee during Team Puerto Rico’s on-field celebration at the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday night.
Diaz underwent surgery on Thursday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in West Palm Beach, Fla., and will begin an eight-month rehab.
Diaz sustained the injury after recording the final out of Puerto Rico’s 5-2 victory over the Dominican Republic.
Diaz was in the middle of a celebration in which his teammates were jumping up and down when he fell to the ground and had to be carried off the field before he was placed in a wheelchair.
Brandon Nimmo was the first to text Manager Buck Showalter with the news that Diaz had been injured.
Diaz received a five-year contract worth $102 million from the Mets in November after one of the most dominant seasons by a closer in major league history.
Included was a 1.31 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 62 innings. MLB will pick up the tab on Diaz’s salary for games missed during this injured list stint because the injury occurred during the WBC.
The Mets retooled their bullpen in the offseason, signing David Robertson to a one-year contract worth $10 million after trading for left-hander Brooks Raley.
The team also re-signed Adam Ottavino on a two-year contract worth $14.5 million.
Robertson and Ottavino both have closing experience, but neither Showalter nor General Manager Billy Eppler was prepared to say who would step into Diaz’s role.
“We are in a spot where we have guys who have a good amount of closing experience on our roster, but as far as the immediate, that’s going to be part of conversations that Buck and myself and [pitching coach] Jeremy Hefner have as spring rolls on and we roll into the season,” Eppler said.
Nimmo removed himself from consideration for the WBC after signing a new contract with the Mets, in part over health concerns.
But the outfielder wasn’t about to disparage the event in the aftermath of Diaz’s injury.
“It happens — it’s going to happen,” Nimmo said. “It’s playing games at a high playoff intensity. … I think the crazy freak part of this was it happened during the celebration.
It wasn’t even while he was throwing 100 mph.”