The World Baseball Classic is in full swing and is set to wrap up during the early parts of the coming week, and the tournament has featured some excellent games and exciting matchups.
But unfortunately for some players (and their major league clubs), one of the biggest stories to come out of the event will be the injuries suffered throughout.
Jose Altuve and Edwin Diaz Suffer Serious Injuries In WBC
The first premier player to hit the shelf was Mets closer Edwin Diaz. In a post-game celebration after the Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico in a win-or-go-home contest, Diaz crumbled to the ground in the middle of his mobbing teammates.
Diaz’s knee apparently gave out as the team hopped up and down in celebration, though the jubilance didn’t seem to be excessive. But he suffered an ailment nonetheless, a tear of the patellar tendon that will likely force him to miss the entirety of the upcoming season.
The injury comes as a huge blow for the Mets. Diaz is one of the top closers in the game, and the team has sky-high expectations entering the year after an off-season of big free agent spending. They still have other pieces that make them the contender that they are, but they’ll have to go a different route to find a pitcher to finish games in 2023.
Two Of MLB’s Best Teams Will Be Affected
Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve broke his right thumb when a Daniel Bard fastball hit him in Venezuela’s quarterfinal WBC loss to Team USA and will undergo surgery. He’s expected to miss at least two months.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 19, 2023
Another star player suffered an injury over the weekend, as former MVP Jose Altuve suffered a thumb fracture in Venezuela’s game on Saturday night. He was hit by a pitch in the 5th inning, leaving the game and never returning. It was announced on Sunday that Altuve will need surgery, and the Astros have released no timetable for his potential return.
Both the Astros and the Mets will be adversely affected by the happenings at the WBC. The event is only played once every few years, but there have already been concerns about how it can change the fortunes of MLB players and their teams, whose season begins in just a couple of weeks time.
These were not just rotation players or unknown relief pitchers. Both Edwin Diaz and Jose Altuve are key parts to teams that both have high aspirations going in to the 2023 MLB season. The Mets and Astros will sorely miss the services of both, and all in thanks to what some consider an exhibition.
The WBC Final will be played on Tuesday night.
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