Feb. 2.10: Back in the saddle again.

Good morning folks. First off, I’d like to thank you for your well wishes yesterday. I should get back some of my test results today, but I’m feeling better this morning. So, again, thank you very much for you kindness.

WRIGHT: Will he be right again?

WRIGHT: Will he be right again?

Previously, I’d listed concerns of the Mets heading into spring training. One such concern was whether David Wright would regain his home run stroke. By most standards, Wright had a miserable season in 2009, and it was that way long before he took a fastball to his helmet. Wright hit .307 with a career-low 10 homers and only 72 RBI.

Wright did himself in early when he admitted the dimensions of Citi Field were getting to him. Once that became public, pitchers had their way with him from a power standpoint and gave him absolutely nothing to hit.

Wright tinkered with his swing, but an altered swing stays with a hitter, even on the road and his power numbers paled in comparison to other seasons in production away from home, too. Wright is human, and he began to press, and with injuries mounting up – without Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran – there was little protection in the order.

Wright has been working hard with hitting coach Howard Johnson, who should have done more to persuade his third baseman to not abandon the form that produced these numbers for a 162-game average: .309, 27 homers and 107 RBI.

The problem, Johnson dissected, was in waiting on the pitch, Wright waited too long. The ball would bear down on him and he couldn’t adjust. Say hello to 140 strikeouts. A career high. That Wright hit over .300 despite his high strikeout totals illustrated how unusual Wright’s season actually was.

Their off-season work has been concentrated on Wright attacking the ball more out front, being quick with his hands and driving the ball.

Which Wright will we see in 2010?

I’m willing to bet last season was an aberration and we’ll see numbers closer to his career averages rather than last year’s posting. I’ve seen how hard Wright works and believe he’s too good a hitter, too good an athlete, not to rebound.

Yes, I think Wright will be back in the saddle again.

10 thoughts on “Feb. 2.10: Back in the saddle again.

  1. Hi John –

    Hope any more news from the Doctor is all good.

    David Wright made the rounds of the NY media a few weeks ago and seems to be ready to go. I’m sure Howard Johnson has been a big help to him.

    Hopefully Mets management will name David the team Captain now in the absence of Carlos Delgado.

    David has been the face and the voice of the team behind the scenes for a while now anyway.

  2. Lets see if he still has the flinch on breaking balls that he had when he came back from the DL. That, in my mind, is going to be his major test.

  3. There is a nice article by kernan in the post about jose reyes. It looks like Jose is doing fine and he is fired up for this season. Wright and Reyes are the heart of this club. If they bounce back that will give the team a big lift.

  4. Glad to hear your’e feeling better – I hadn’t checked the blog in a few days so I didn’t even know you were’nt feeling well.

    I agree completely with HoJo on Wright waiting too long. Watching him last season I wondered why he was waiting until the ball was past him to swing. It was infuriating. Delgado was doing that a couple of years ago and when he stopped doing it he started mashing. I even remember an interview with Delgado where he was asked why the turnaround. He said he had been waiting too long on the ball. It was obvious to me that he was late all the time. I think most people had assumed it was because he was aging. It wasn’t. He made the correction and started hitting like a roided up Barry Bonds.

  5. 7. TMS, I remember a game in early 2008 carried by espn. The immortal sage Phillips opined that it was obvious Delgados swing had slowed down due to his age. Where are you now stevie wonder? playing a few holes with tiger?

  6. It is a bit odd that if they knew what was going on last season they didn’t try to fix it during the season. It seems they could have saved several months of misery had they addressed the issue sooner. But I guess they did try something and it just didn’t work, and now they are at a place where they have the time to “start over”

    Though as far as HoJo advising Wright not to change his approach…I agree it seems foolish for a guy who has had so much success to tinker with things…but based on a lot of what was said during last offseason and during this past season, it seemed like Jerry and HoJo were at least partly involved in putting the ideas into his head that he needed to change things. There was that whole opposite field drill in ST, and a lot of talk abut everyone hitting to the opposite field more, adapting to Citi, etc.

  7. Good on you, JD! Glad you’re up and running. Speaking of running, while it’s nice to see Jose Reyes lighting up an indoor gym in Long Island, he can’t pitch.
    That’s the Mets most pressing need, despite Omar Minaya’s thoughts to the contrary. Reyes can steal 150 bases, but it won’t matter if Mets starting pitchers not named Johan Santana can’t consistently make it through the 5th inning and a suspect bullpen can’t hold leads.