The Mets and David Wright are trying to do everything they can to keep him healthy enough to make it through the 2017 season. Wright has been spending the first week of spring training continuing his rehab from the surgery he had to remove a herniated disk in his neck. So far, his rehab has gone smoothly. Wright has been able to take ground balls, do some light running, and can now take some swings. However, he still hasn’t been cleared to throw the baseball, and has yet to face live pitching. Still, Wright’s goal is to be ready to play come opening day.
There have been discussions about the possibility of Wright seeing some time at first base this spring. Manager Terry Collins said, “If we decide he needs to get some ground balls at first base, that can be done late in spring training. He’s such a good athlete, he’ll catch on to that easily.” If Wright’s throwing becomes an issue, he could very well find himself at first base, similar to what the Nationals did with his buddy Ryan Zimmerman in 2015.
Wright said recently that he is open to playing first base if necessary. “I’m open to doing anything that helps this team win. I haven;t been approached about it so right now I’m a third baseman until somebody tells me different. But of course I’m all ears because we think we’re on the cusp of being a World Series-contending team, and I want to help in any way I can with that.”
A platoon at first base with Lucas Duda may actually prove to be beneficial to Wright, Duda, and the Mets. Duda is a very good hitter, but struggles against lefties. Wright has tortured lefties throughout his playing career. Additionally, a platoon would allow for Wright to get several days off, something he needs in order to play a full season with spinal stenosis. Moving Wright to first base would also allow for the Mets to put Jose Reyes in the lineup every day lineup at third base. Reyes adds much-needed speed to a Mets lineup that is otherwise harmless on the basepaths.
“He hasn’t thrown in a long time, so we’ve got to get that arm back. That’s why we’ve got to be careful, because if you force it, tendinitis can pop in there in a second. So, we’ll bring him along slow on the throwing side,” manager Terry Collins said about Wright.
Wright recently revealed to reporters where he currently stands in his rehab process. Wright said,”I have been put on a shoulder strengthening program, that should be wrapping up here soon. And then I go on to a throwing program, which for position players shouldn’t take that long to get going if everything is OK.” However, there is no guarantee that everything will be OK at that point for him. Wright will be limited in his workouts by his spinal stenosis, which, along with the neck surgery, bring Wright’s future with the team into question. There is no guarantee that Wright will be able to make it through the 2017 season.
As much as Wright wants to be back on the field, he knows he needs to be careful in his rehab. A healthy David Wright provides a solid bat on the field, and leadership in the clubhouse. His presence has been missed over the majority of the last two seasons. Over his 13 year career with the Mets, Wright has been through the good times and the bad times, always remaining loyal to the only team he knows. The Mets ultimate goal going into the 2017 season is to get their captain a World Series title, a goal shared by Wright. For now, Wright’s current goal is to be in the Mets starting lineup for opening day on April 3rd.
Written by Ethan Marshall