How the Edwin Diaz injury shakes up the rest of the Mets bullpen
After the sad and deflating unfortunate news of New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz tearing his patellar tendon in his right knee made all of the headlines throughout baseball, the attention now turns to the Mets bullpen and how it is going to look come Opening Day. First and foremost let's get this out of the way, nobody can and will replace what Edwin Diaz brings to the mound on a nightly basis. The swagger, the stuff, the dominance it's completely unmatched.
Now the Mets bullpen is going to have to step up in a much larger capacity moving forward and some roles will have to be adjusted. First and foremost it makes the most sense for David Robertson to be first in line for the opportunity for saves. Outside of that, I can envision Buck Showalter tinkering with roles during the first month of the season until he feels comfortable with certain relievers in high-leverage situations.
The Mets bullpen will have huge shoes to fill with the absence of Edwin Diaz in 2023
While I fully expect Adam Ottavino to continue being the bridge to the 9th inning, he may also see some save opportunities early on in the season, as he had 3 saves with the Mets last year. It may be a situation-based situation in regards to closing the 9th between Ottavino and Robertson. Other relievers such as Brooks Raley, Drew Smith, John Curtiss, Sam Coonrod, and others who make the Opening Day roster will be tested early and often by Manager Buck Showalter to start the season.
I believe Showalter will put many of these relievers in high-leverage situations early on in the season, to know who he can trust with the ball when late July, August, and September arrive. It will also help the front office gauge what their bullpen may need at this year's Trade Deadline based on those results. I don't believe there will be many defined roles in the bullpen for at least a couple of months.
Many of these pitchers who may have been used in lower-leverage situations prior to the Edwin Diaz injury are going to be asked to step up big in high-leverage situations this season. The Mets no longer have the most dominant reliever in baseball available and somebody who shortens the game for opposing teams. While nobody is going to duplicate what Diaz did on the mound, the bullpen is going to have the spotlight directly on them early and often this season as World Series aspirations are still at the forefront.