Mets Shouldn’t Push Wright For Opening Day Start

With most strained and pulled muscles, a sound approach is whatever timetable is given just add a week.

Given that, I don’t see why the Mets seem to be rushing David Wright, who sustained a strained left intercostal muscle while at the WBC. I also don’t see why Wright is rushing himself.

WRIGHT: Needs to slow down.

WRIGHT: Needs to slow down.

Didn’t anybody learn anything from the Johan Santana fiasco? What is to be gained by him playing in a handful of games? Could it be nobody wants to point a finger at the WBC? Could it be that both parties want to put their handling of the injury on the back burner?

Wright made it to the field yesterday, getting five at-bats in a pair of minor league games, but not playing defense. For that, he’s taking ground balls from third base coach Tim Teufel.

In both cases, he didn’t face anything coming to close to the actual speed of a major league game.

Wright says he feels better, which is positive news. He said he’s optimistic about Opening Day, which is what you would expect him to say.

“I’ve been optimistic about Opening Day since I came back to St. Lucie, and talked to the doctors and the trainers about the diagnosis,’’ Wright told reporters yesterday. “It’s another step closer, so I’m still very optimistic.’’

We could end it there, which would be the puff story way to go, but that wouldn’t be accurate.

What is accurate is Wright is as tough as they come, once playing a full month with a stress fracture in his lower back. He’s had muscle pulls and a beaning-related concussion. This player, the best the Mets ever produced outside of Tom Seaver, is strong and fearless.

However, there are times when he’s lacking in judgment. There is a difference between pain and injury. All players have some type of pain, but an injury can be career damaging.

Wright should have been more cautious with the back; he needs to be more cautious with his current injury.

In the grand scheme of things, what is the difference if Wright plays April 1 or April 7? Seriously, do you expect it to be the difference between making the playoffs and going home for the winter as they have every season since 2007?

What pushing the envelope with Wright could mean is the difference between missing the first half dozen games of the season and potentially a month if he’s reinjured.

Wright could play and not be reinjured, but it could impact him at the plate or in the field. It could lead him to bad habits and consequently another injury. If the Mets and Wright constantly find themselves looking at first the calendar, and then the clock, he’s simply not ready.

How much time Wright needs, I don’t know. But, what I believe from all the information the Mets and Wright are putting out about his injury in relationship to Opening Day is he’s not ready.

I would like to see him play, because he’s arguably the best reason to watch the Mets, but I am willing to wait a week. The season will still be here when he gets back.

However, it might not be if he has to sit for another month or longer.

3 thoughts on “Mets Shouldn’t Push Wright For Opening Day Start

  1. I have one thing to say about this: Broken Back

    He played with it for how long?

    He will declare himself healthy and no one will question it. If he later hurts it no one will blame the WBC because it happened later under different circumstances.

    He will play the opener. Get over it.

    It will be a stupid decision.

  2. I agree with the sentiment that the season as a whole is much more important than opening day. But I don’t think its an issue of the Mets “pushing” Wright for opening day. He’s the one that tends to push things moreso than the team. And I don’t think the Santana comparison is relevant here. The two injuries aren’t really comparable…and if they are it shows that caution isn’t always foolproof either. Santana rested pretty much all offseason and the Mets have played things cautiously with him this spring and he’s still going to be out awhile. It’s seems far fetched to blame all his issues on the one bullpen session – if that’s where you are going with this comparison.

    Also talking about how Wright’s only action lately has been against minor leaguers “which isn’t major league speed” doesn’t have much meaning in this particular case. Since even if they do go by your idea of holding him out the first few games and backdate the DL stint…he’d still only be playing in the minor league games prior to the start of his season. If they want to get him some more “major league speed” games before the season then he’d have to play in Grapefruit league games and then they wouldn’t be able to backdate the DL stint.

    So I disagree with some of the details of your argument. But I do agree with the main point that opening day isn’t worth risking longer term issues. During the ESPN broadcast yesterday they mentioned that Wright still had some pain/inflammation in his side. And Collins has also been citing Wright playing with the broken back a few years ago as reason to believe he’ll be ok to start the year. In regard to that, I agree with what you said…that the fact that he played with the broken back makes me more leery of the current situation than positive about it. He might be pushing things when he shouldn’t be. But then again, players do play through all types of soreness throughout the year and he did play great with this issue during the WBC, so hopefully it is the case of just being some mild soreness and he is ok to play and knows what he is doing.