Watching Tiger Woods fail to make the cut this weekend at Torrey Pines, I couldn’t help but think about David Wright’s comeback from his back issues and wonder what he’ll give the Mets this summer.
Perhaps, based on his importance to the franchise and salary, he should be given the latitude to call his own shots regarding his playing time (in the short term) and the issue of retirement (in the long term). However, in retrospect, it doesn’t matter because those things are to be determined by the stability and pain level in his back.
If he hurts, he doesn’t play; if he’s pain-free, he’ll be in there.
Of course, manager Terry Collins can’t afford to push the envelope, but must be prudent in structuring Wright’s playing time and such matters of days off and rest against certain pitchers.
However, there are a couple of things I’ve wondered about lately concerning Wright.
First, were the Mets ever serious about playing Wright at first base? I’m guessing not because there’s still a lot of crouching at first. Since the Mets don’t play in the American League where they could use the DH, probably the only other position he might be moved to is left field, where the stress on his back might be less. Then again, there would be questions about his arm strength and at age 34 and position change would be difficult.
One thing I am curious about is how much he’s considering altering his hitting style. Will he concentrate more on going to right field and less on pulling the ball to left, which creates more torque in his lower back?
Also, will he consider going to a lighter bat and concentrate on being more of a contact hitter. This would likely entail hitting second or perhaps seventh or eighth in the order.
I’m betting Wright will make the right decision because he’s always been about doing what is best for the team.