Money Can’t Fix The Nightmare Facing Buck And The New York Mets
If one player was a lock to succeed for Buck Showalter in 2022, it was closer Edwin Diaz. When Timmy Trumpet's "Narco" began, that usually meant the game was ending for the Mets' opponents. The "lock" took a big hit in the WBC on Wednesday and in essence, so did the World Series dreams for Buck and the Mets.
Wednesday's nightmare took shape following Puerto Rico's 5-2 victory over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Diaz had just closed out the victory and was celebrating with teammates when his knee gave out. Buck Showalter's worst fear with Mets players participating in the WBC was coming to fruition.
Puerto Rico's manager Yadier Molina told Jeff Passan of ESPN.com after the game, "I didn't see it right away. I was hugging our coaches in the dugout, and when we looked up, Edwin was on the ground. I didn't know. I didn't know how to act, I didn't know what to say. It caught me by surprise. It sucks." Yes it does. General manager Billy Eppler can't easily replace the best closer in the game, who he just signed to a $102 million contract in November.
According to nypost.com, a Mets team doctor and their third-base coach Joey Cora were at the game and with Diaz immediately after the injury. The Mets released a statement saying Diaz will receive imaging on the knee on Thursday. The closer position appears to be, for the foreseeable future, in flux for Showalter. This goes along with injuries to an aged starting rotation. Can Buck keep the puzzle together like he did last year with key injuries to former Met Jacob deGrom and co-ace Max Scherzer?
GM Billy Eppler's pitching depth included signing 34 year-old free agent, Jose Quintana. The left-hander struggled in his first appearance with the pitch clock and left with an injury in his second start. Quintana is out until at least July following rib surgery. What about Max Scherzer? He is a year older and couldn't even get through last year without injury. Scherzer was terrible in his playoff start against San Diego, giving up 7 runs in 4.2 innings. Not Good. Will Justin Verlander give a repeat performance of last year? He had better. What about 30 year-old Japanese league free agent Kodai Senga? No one really knows if he will be successful in the big leagues. How about 36 year-old Carlos Carrasco? Sure he was great against bad teams in 2022 but he was terrible against teams over .500. Money can't fix all of these bad dreams that could be a nightmarish 2023 for Buck Showalter and the New York Mets.