Between the World Baseball Classic’s championship game on Tuesday and Opening Day, now less than two weeks away, Major League Baseball fans around the world are starting to get excited.
Despite the excitement radiating around the league, this week has unfortunately been marred by some injuries that affect both players and teams as the season approaches. Let’s take a look at some of those injuries and other big stories from the week.
Edwin Diaz Likely Out For The Season
For as exciting as the World Baseball Classic has been, there have been a couple of injuries that have fans second-guessing whether it should be around or not. The first of those concerns come from New York Mets’ fans, who saw their superstar closer Edwin Diaz suffer a significant injury celebrating Puerto Rico’s win over the Dominican Republic.
In the celebration, Diaz tore the patellar tendon in his right knee, forcing a surgery that could lead to him being out for six to eight months. For clarity sake, the injury did not happen during the actual gameplay; rather, it occurred shortly into the celebration afterwards.
Diaz was signed to a five-year deal worth $102 million this offseason, a record extension for a reliever. Last season, the soon-to-be 29-year-old went 3-1 with 32 saves, a 1.31 ERA, 0.839 WHIP, and had 118 strikeouts in 62 innings of work.
With Diaz out, the Mets will likely turn to either David Robertson or Adam Ottavino to take over the closer duties this season.
The Mets currently have the second-best odds of winning a loaded NL East at +175, and they have the fifth-best odds of winning the World Series at +900.
Altuve Out For A Couple Months
Edwin Diaz wasn’t the only significant player injured at the World Baseball Classic. Houston Astros’ star second baseman Jose Altuve suffered a broken thumb after USA reliever Daniel Bard hit him with a pitch in the quarterfinal game Saturday.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Altuve is expected to miss 8 to 10 weeks of action. That would likely put him back in May, assuming all things went well. In the meantime, the Astros will likely turn to either David Hensley or Mauricio Dubon to fill the spot.
Last year, the 32-year-old Altuve hit .300/.387/.533 with 28 home runs, 57 runs batted in, 103 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases.
The defending World Series champions are still currently the favorites to repeat at +600. At -185, they are also the favorites to win the AL West this season.
Jurickson Profar Signs With Rockies
According to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman, the Colorado Rockies agreed to sign free agent outfielder Jurickson Profar Sunday morning. The deal will be for one year and $7.75 million (plus incentives).
In 2022, with the San Diego Padres, the 30-year-old Profar hit .243/.331/.391 with 15 home runs, 58 runs batted in, 82 runs scored, and five stolen bases over 575 at bats.
The Rockies have already been dealing with injuries this Spring Training to players like second baseman Brendan Rodgers, outfielder Randal Grichuk, and outfielder Sean Bouchard, each of whom will start the season on the injured list. Furthermore, first baseman C.J. Cron and outfielder Charlie Blackmon have been dealing with back issues, but they are not expected to sideline them for Opening Day.
Still, with the injuries mounting, especially in the outfield, Profar has been a suggested fit for weeks. It appears that Colorado finally got their guy.
The Rockies currently have the worst odds of winning the NL West at +15000.