While the Mets’ season is basically over, Edwin Diaz’s might not be.
The closer is continuing his rehab from a torn patellar tendon in his right knee that he suffered while celebrating a win during the World Baseball Classic in March. Mets manager Buck Showalter said the team is discussing whether Diaz might return before the end of the regular season.
“That’s the discussion going on now,’’ Showalter said before the Mets beat the Cubs 4-3 on Wednesday night. “Because he might make it — or might not — but we’re not gonna push it.”
Showalter declined to specify what progress Diaz has made of late, but did say that Wednesday “was a good step for him, but it wasn’t done on the field.” Showalter hinted that Diaz is getting closer to getting back on a mound, but the manager also said the reliever isn’t far enough along in his rehab that the organization needs to make any final calls regarding what he does this year.
“It’s not close to being a decision we need to make, but at some point I’m hoping that discussion gets more serious,” Showalter said. “Is it good for him? Not good for him? What happens next February when that’s the first time [he pitches]. Is something that happens here that will let us know exactly where he’s gonna be next April? No. Nobody’s that smart.”
Losing Diaz during the spring was the first sign 2023 was not going to go the way the Mets wanted. They had just signed him to a five-year, $102 million deal to stay in Queens.
David Robertson took over as closer and performed well, but was traded to Miami before the deadline.
The Mets will need to rebuild their bullpen next season, with the expectation that Diaz will be fully healthy and closing games.
Ronny Mauricio got his second straight start at third base for Triple-A Syracuse and had two hits, but also made a throwing error.
Meanwhile, Mark Vientos was back at third for the Mets and went 0-for-4, with Brett Baty out of the Syracuse lineup again after his recent demotion.
Vientos has struggled on both sides of the ball when given the opportunity to play this season in the majors. His OPS has hovered in the mid-.500s for most of the last few weeks and his defense has been spotty.
After he hit a homer on Tuesday, Pete Alonso — who also homered Wednesday — said he was bothered by a glare in center field that impacted his sight at the plate. Showalter was aware of the issue and said it was “something we attacked last year.”
The manager declined to share what the issue was on Tuesday, but added “it won’t be there tonight.”
Former Met David Wright was in attendance in advance of his participation in the Battle of the Badges game between the NYPD and FDNY baseball teams that will be played Thursday night at Citi Field. Proceeds from the game go to charities from both departments.