Mets have risky plan for closer role following Edwin Diaz injury
The New York Mets are facing an unexpected problem after closer Edwin Diaz’s season-ending WBC injury, and manager Buck Showalter is planning to address it in a risky way.
Showalter said Wednesday that the team does not plan to formally name a closer in Diaz’s absence. The manager said multiple pitchers could fill the role, though he did single out David Robertson as the most experienced option.
The Mets are not naming a closer in Edwin Díaz's absence.
Buck Showalter said he can see one pitcher getting the bulk of chances, and "obviously [Robertson] has probably the strongest background" with 157 career saves. But Ottavino, Raley, even Smith could also pitch the ninth.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 29, 2023
Showalter does say it is possible that one reliever gets the bulk of the save chances. Robertson probably has the first shot at it, having tallied 157 saves over his career.
Nobody is expecting any of the Mets’ options to be quite as dominant as Diaz was in 2022. The risk, however, is that added uncertainty could lead to inconsistency in the back of the bullpen. Showalter’s unspoken hope is probably that Robertson simply makes the job his own so the bullpen can settle into comfortable roles.
Diaz will miss all of 2023 after suffering a serious knee injury while celebrating a WBC win.