Mets closer Edwin Diaz is set for spring debut after freak WBC injury a year ago

New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz is set to appear in a game for the first time since tearing a patellar tendon during the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

The two-time All-Star is expected to be the first reliever after starter Tylor Megill, and the right-hander will have a 20-pitch limit when the Mets face Miami in spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Monday night.

“Excited for the boys, for the whole team, for himself,” manager Carlos Mendoza said Sunday. “The fact that he gets to pitch in a major league game for the first time after, you know, a long year of rehab and all that, I think is important for all of us.”

Díaz injured his right knee celebrating with teammates after closing out Puerto Rico’s 5-2 victory over the Dominican Republic last March.

The injury was the first of many for the Mets in 2023, leading the club to unload Cy Young Award winners Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer at the trade deadline before manager Buck Showalter was fired a year after New York made the playoffs as a wild card.

The 29-year-old Díaz was an All-Star for the Mets in 2022, recording 32 saves and having a 1.31 ERA. Of the 186 outs Díaz recorded that year, 118 were on strikeouts.

Díaz came to New York in a trade after his first All-Star season with Seattle in 2018.