New York Mets third baseman David Wright just can’t seem to shake the injury bug.
The 34-year-old Wright is now dealing with a right shoulder injury that was diagnosed as an impingement. Wright has been shut down from throwing, and won’t throw another baseball for at least two weeks. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters that Wright was sent back to New York for further examination.
Wright was limited to 37 games last season due to a neck injury, and doctors believe this injury stems off of the neck surgery Wright underwent in June to repair a herniated disc. This aliment puts Wright’s status in doubt for Opening Day on April 3rd versus the Atlanta Braves, as Wright will not be able to throw with high velocity until late March.
Anthony DiComo of MLB.com says the Mets have already begun preparing for Jose Reyes to start at 3rd base in-place of Wright for Opening Day, a position that Reyes played for the first time in his career last season after signing with the Mets for his second stint with the team. 50 of Reyes’ 80 regular season games with the Mets came at third base in 2016, where he had 6 errors in 427 innings of action at the hot corner.
“This is all part of the process of rehabilitating from the neck surgery,” Alderson said. “It’s taking longer than I’m sure David would have hoped, and we would have hoped, but it’s part of the process.”
Alderson also said that Wright had been experiencing soreness in the shoulder for the greater part of spring training so far, and that the Mets goal remains to have Wright play 3rd base when he is fully healthy again. There are some complications involved with getting Wright back to 3rd because of his injury situation, but the Mets have limited options.
If Wright could fill a designated hitter role for the Mets, him playing 3rd base would be less of a debate. At designated hitter, there would be less physical demand placed on Wright as opposed to playing the field, but the National League still doesn’t employ the designated hitter rules that the American League does. Leaving Wright only available at designated hitter in interleague games.
Wright could learn a new position, but the Mets are set across the infield and the outfield, and have Wilmer Flores off the bench in a super-utility role. Asdrubal Cabrera will play shortstop, and will be joined by Neil Walker at 2nd base and Lucas Duda at 1st base. The outfield will be Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, and Jay Bruce in some left-to-right combination.
New York has Wright signed through the 2020 season, with him making $20 million this season, $20 million the year after, and then $15 million in 2019 followed by $12 million in 2020. All this money is coming off a eight-year, $138 million extension that Wright signed back in 2012, with the Mets recouping some of the money due to Wright’s injury history via insurance.
In those 37 games Wright appeared in last season, he batted .226/.350/.438 with 7 homers and 14 RBIs. For his MLB career, Wright is a .296/.376/.491 hitter with 242 homers, 970 RBIs, and 196 stolen bases.
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