The Mets’ worst possible fears regarding the WBC could be materializing. David Wright injured his ribs working out with the WBC team last week in Arizona, evidently played hurt, and was scratched from last night’s game against the Dominican Republic.
Wright was having a tremendous spring for Team USA and could be out the rest of the tournament.
USA manager Joe Torre consulted with the Mets’ medical staff and it was decided he’d be scratched and will be examined by Mets doctors Friday morning in Port St. Lucie.
“I’m optimistic that they’ll allow me to come back and rejoin these guys,’’ Wright told reporters in Miami, where tonight’s game was played. “I wanted to play tonight, but I understand the decision. I’m disappointed. That goes without saying. But I completely understand the direction that they’re going.’’
Wright felt pain in his left side over a week ago. Reports were sent to the Mets’ team doctors, who cleared him to play.
Why he wasn’t sent to Port St. Lucie or New York immediately to be examined by club physician hasn’t been answered.
Wright was having a blistering spring, hitting .438 (7-for-16) with 10 RBI, including a grand slam over Italy.
We don’t know the severity of Wright’s injury, but a significant player being hurt in the WBC and missing time from his team has always been the biggest concern about this manufactured tournament.
When it comes to international competition, I understand the concept of the Olympics – which has done away with baseball, by the way – and the World Cup. However, the WBC? Well, that is a manufactured event devised for marketing purposes.
Maybe this is nothing with Wright. Maybe it will turn out to be a big deal, a major negative for a team that has experienced so many.
GEE HAMMERED: Dillon Gee said he’s feeling fine physically after surgery last year to repair a damaged artery in his pitching shoulder.
However, he’s still working on refining his change-up and smoothing over his mechanics. After today’s 9-1 loss to Detroit, it is apparent he has a lot of work ahead of him.
Gee gave up six runs on three hits, four walks and hit two batters. It’s hard to say the hit batters were in retaliation for the Mets having five hitters struck in two games with the Tigers considering he threw three wild pitches.
Earlier this week Gee said he was having difficulty with his release point. Terry Collins concurred, but expressed little alarm.
“It’s something that’s easily fixed,’’ Collins said. “There’s no injury issues or anything else. I mean, I’ve watched this guy pitch for four years and I’ve never seen that before. I’m not too concerned about it.’’
Gee feels as if he’s improving, but, “these things don’t just happen … it takes some work.’’
Gee said the last pitch he masters in spring training is his change-up because it is a “feel’’ pitch requiring the combination of getting the proper grip, and adjusting his arm speed and release point.
METS MUSINGS: A lot has been made lately of Matt den Dekker’s prowess at the plate, and we’re not talking power, either. Den Dekker, who has been having trouble with strikeouts, went the opposite way on a breaking ball for a hit. … Lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano made a case for his comeback with a scoreless inning.