5 Mets storylines to watch in the second half of the season

What to look forward to over the final months of the Mets' season
New York Mets v San Diego Padres
New York Mets v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages
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NY Mets storyline: Will Edwin Diaz make a late season return?

Even before the 2023 season began, there was a dark cloud cast over the Mets’ championship hopes when Edwin Diaz suffered a torn patellar tendon in the World Baseball Classic in March. At the time, it seemed all but certain Diaz would miss the entire MLB season.

Since then, however, Diaz has been quoted as saying he hopes to return before the season ends. Updates on his rehab have at least indicated he is progressing as well as could be expected.

Unsurprisingly, the Mets have sorely missed Diaz in the bullpen. While David Robertson has excelled as the closer in his place, the trickle-down effect of not having Robertson for the seventh and eighth innings has stretched the bullpen thin and exposed the Mets’ lack of depth beyond their top relievers. It is just one of many factors that has contributed to a first half team ERA of 4.39, ranking in the bottom half of the league.

Of course, the likelihood Diaz returns to the majors this season hinges, at least in part, on whether the Mets remain in the playoff hunt come September. Even so, there will likely be personal motivation for Diaz to return regardless, if only to get back on a mound and avoid a longer layoff until next season.

Whether it contributes to a late season playoff push or not, the Mets would benefit both on the field and, frankly, from a morale standpoint to see their All-Star closer defy the odds and make it back this year.