There will be a David Wright sighting this afternoon for the New York Mets. Manager Terry Collins, referring to an oblique strain in previous springs, took the approach of easing Wright and Daniel Murphy into the lineup this spring.
My first impression is Wright doesn’t need to be rushed and if this helps him stay healthy, I’m behind it all the way. Spring training is a grind as it is, so resting is a good strategy since Wright will get the necessary at-bats needed to get ready.
“Spring training is so long. It’s really for the pitchers’ benefit, to get them stretched out,’’ Wright said earlier this week. “Terry approached me even during the offseason and kind of told me, `Don’t be surprised if in spring training I slow you down a little bit and push you back.’
“The last couple of years I’ve had the abdominal/oblique injuries. So to kind of slow it up this year, to kind of take those baby steps before ramping it up, I think helps me out.’’
Hitters normally get close to 90 at-bats in the spring. If they feel like it isn’t enough, they can always be scheduled in simulated games where they can get up to seven in a game. Wright, as he usually does, shows up several weeks earlier. He’s been taking batting practice since the Super Bowl.
“I felt like I got good work in,’’ Wright said. “I felt I’m a lot more prepared now than I have been in recent spring trainings to enter games, and I think I’ll get a little more out of it.’’
Wright’s work entails hitting, defense and conditioning. It’s been a concentrated effort since the games began; an effort he wouldn’t have been able to do had he been playing all this time.
There has been more intense training this spring compared to last year because then he was playing in the World Baseball Classic.
As always, everything is up for review. If, during the season, Wright feels fresher, then this has been a good routine. If he doesn’t feel as sharp at the start of the season, he can always change next year.
Either way, this is a useful experiment.