Every New York Mets fan's worst nightmare came to life last night, as Edwin Diaz suffered a knee injury celebrating Puerto Rico's victory over the Dominican Republic last night in the World Baseball Classic. He is expected to be out for the entire season. The reaction of Diaz's brother Alexis says it all.
With their All Star sidelined, the Mets will now have to look to somebody else to lock down the closer role going forward. There are several options here, with Adam Ottavino or even Drew Smith being potential candidates. However, the clear choice here is David Robertson, a proven veteran who should be a reliable and capable closer for the Mets until Diaz is hopefully able to return.
If Edwin Diaz misses time, David Robertson is the best option to be the Mets starting closer on Opening Day
To anyone who watched the Mets last season, it is obvious that Edwin Diaz can't be replaced. However, Robertson provides the team with some reliable experience at the position that the team will need for a deep playoff run.
Entering his 15th season, Robertson has a career 2.89 ERA with 977 strikeouts almost entirely as a relief pitcher. A former All Star, he turned in a 2.40 ERA during the 2022 season, which led to the Mets signing him to a one year, $10 million contract this offseason.
Robertson has pitched in the playoffs eight seasons over the course of his career, with a 2.78 ERA during those appearances. He was instrumental in the Philadelphia Phillies run to the World Series, allowing one run over 6.2 innings of work and recorded a save in their Game 1 victory. For his career, Robertson has pitched 45 innings in relief in the playoffs and recorded 53 strikeouts.
Where Robertson could give Mets fans issues is with his control. A strikeout pitcher by nature, he is prone to walking batters as well, ranking in the lowly 2nd percentile of pitchers in BB%. This could lead to some tight situations in save situations, and we'll have to see how Buck Showalter handles his bullpen if this problem arises.
David Robertson will be the option that Mets fans should feel most comfortable with locking down the ninth inning for 2023. Can he come close to matching what Diaz would have offered?