Mets announce star closer Edwin Díaz will not pitch in 2023

FILE - New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Díaz delivers against the San Diego Padres during the seventh inning of Game 2 of a National League wild-card baseball playoff series Oct. 8, 2022, in New York. After throwing his first outdoor bullpen session following knee surgery, Mets All-Star closer Díaz remained hopeful he can make return to the mound for the New York Mets this season. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

MIAMI (AP) — The New York Mets confirmed Tuesday that injured star closer Edwin Díaz will not rejoin the club this season.

Díaz tore the patella tendon in his right knee during a victory celebration after closing Puerto Rico’s victory over the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic on March 15.

After surgery and months of therapy, there were growing expectations that Díaz would pitch in 2023. But the club confirmed Tuesday that Díaz will continue rehabilitating his knee with a targeted return of next spring training.

“Every moment we buy we’re getting closer to him being there,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said before his club’s game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. “Believe me — we were looking at the potential of October or even late September. That was a real push.”

Considered favorites to win the NL East, the Mets instead have struggled this season and began Tuesday fourth in the division with a 70-80 record.