Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Edwin Díaz injury: Mets closer lands on IL with shoulder impingement amid awful stretch of blown saves

The New York Mets have been sunk by bullpen issues these last few weeks and now their nominal closer is on the injured list. The Mets placed righty Edwin Díaz on the 15-day injured list with a shoulder impingement, the team announced Wednesday. Lefty Josh Walker was called up in a corresponding move.

The Mets have not yet announced how long Díaz will be sidelined. According to the Baseball Prospectus Recovery Dashboard, pitchers with shoulder impingements have missed anywhere from 15 days to the entire season in the recent years. Seven pitchers had documented shoulder impingements in 2023 and they missed an average of 82 days.  

Díaz, 30, has been quite durable throughout his career. This is his first arm injury and his only other injured list stint came last year, when he tore his patella tendon celebrating Puerto Rico’s win over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Díaz missed the entire 2023 season and it’s been a struggle for him in his return this year.

In his last 10 appearances, Díaz has allowed 11 runs in 10 1/3 innings, and blown four of five save chances. Opponents hit .326/.383/.651 against him in those 10 games. It is notable that, with a one-run lead in the first game on Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Adam Ottavino was called on the for the save. Díaz remained in the bullpen, either because of the injury or because he was not trusted.

Of course, Ottavino blew the save in that game, and the Mets have collectively blown five of their last seven save chances. New York’s bullpen was so good in April, pitching to a 2.85 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Waiver claim Reed Garrett emerged as a bona fide high leverage weapon in the season’s first weeks.

In May though, the Mets bullpen has a 4.43 ERA and 1.60 WHIP, and Garrett has coughed up eight runs in his last six games. Díaz is hardly the only Mets reliever to struggle these last few weeks, but he is the team’s most talented bullpen arm, and getting him on track was New York’s quickest path to fixing the bullpen. Now he’s on the injured list.

The is Year 2 of Díaz’s reliever record five-year, $102 million contract. He signed that deal after a brilliant 2022 season that saw him strike out 118 batters with a 1.13 ERA in 62 innings. The Mets have lost 22 of their last 32 games and enter play Wednesday with a 22-32 record.

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