ESPN DigitalReading: 4 min.
MIAMI — All of Puerto Rico’s stars are close Edwin Diaz of the New York Mets had to leave the field in a wheelchair after injuring his knee while celebrating his team’s win over the Dominican Republic that advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic.
Diaz finished the ninth inning with singles, twos and threes, striking out Kedel Marte, Jean Segura and Teoscar Hernandez in a 5-2 victory over his eternal Caribbean rival at Lone Depot Park, and began celebrating with his teammates. He injured his right knee in the middle of the festivities.
Even if Puerto Rico advances to the quarterfinals, it will likely continue without Mets’ All-Star Edwin Diaz.
Diaz went down while jumping with a group of teammates in the infield and immediately grabbed his right knee. He was in tears and had no weight on his leg as two trainers helped push him to the bench. He was then placed in a wheelchair on rough territory, and his right knee was stretched. Diaz waved to fans as he was led off the field.
Diaz’s brother Alexis, who plays for the Cincinnati Reds, was crying as Edwin was wheeled out. Lindor, Edwin’s Mets teammate, stood nearby with his head in his hand.
Diaz has a right knee injury and will undergo an MRI on Thursday, the Mets said in a statement an hour after the game.
Puerto Rico manager Yadier Molina said Diaz was also tested on the field.
“He was hugging our coaches on the bench. Then when we looked up, Edwin was on the floor,” Molina said. “I don’t know… I don’t know how to act, I don’t know how to say, what to say. I mean, I don’t know. I was surprised.
“Like I said on the bench, it’s Chucks, sorry, but when you see a guy who works as hard as Edwin and you see him on the floor, it’s sad.”
Kik Hernandez said the locker room was quiet after Diaz’s injury.
“It’s a certain point that it’s bigger than the game,” Hernandez said. “It’s really unfortunate that it happened, we were excited about the game and everything, and that’s one of our brothers.”
Diaz, 28, is a two-time All-Star and two-time reliever of the year. He had a 1.31 ERA and 32 saves with 118 strikeouts in 62 innings last season for the Mets.
Diaz is considered a key contributor to the Mets’ World Series aspirations after owner Steve Cohen’s recent spending spree boosted the club’s projected payroll to roughly $370 million. Diaz re-signed with the Mets in November for $102 million over five years, the largest contract for a reliever in baseball history.
Alden González of ESPN and The Associated Press contributed to this report.