I am cautiously optimistic as I post the following: Mets third baseman and captain David Wright will start a rehab assignment Monday with Class A St. Lucie.
Knock on wood. Don’t walk under a ladder. Throw salt over your shoulder. Cross your fingers. Do whatever it takes to get him back to Flushing soon and in one piece.
After winning seven straight, the Mets have dropped their last two to the Rays to fall a scant 1.5 games ahead of Washington. I said it yesterday and will say it again, forget the wild card and go for the division. Wright will help immensely in that regard.
Of all their position players, Wright is the one the Mets can ill-afford to lose the most because of what he represents: he’s their best hitter; he’s a team leader; he’s their biggest investment; he represents the Mets past, present and future.
Yes, there’s a lot riding on this.Wright sustained a right hamstring strain Aug. 14 against Philadelphia, and while on the disabled list was subsequently diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal column. After spending most of the summer in Los Angeles undergoing physical therapy, Wright just spent five straight days of baseball activity, which is throwing, fielding grounders and taking batting practice.
What happens tomorrow is what realty counts as it best proximates what he’ll hopefully be doing the remainder of the season and into October – deep into October.
“There’s not much more preparation I can do other than games,’’ Wright told reporters last week when the Mets were in Miami.
Wright’s return is critical to the Mets on a number of fronts. First, if he’s close to form, it gives the Mets’ offense a jumpstart and deepens their bench and batting order.
That’s the most immediate impact.
Secondly, it should help determine the Mets’ offseason priorities: Will they need another third baseman? Will Wright need to change positions? Will a healthy Wright decrease the chances of keeping Daniel Murphy or Kelly Johnson, and possibly Juan Uribe? If Wright can’t make it, was his extension a waste and how will it effect their future spending?
No, this won’t be just a normal roster move when Wright returns. This could be roster, and possibly, franchise defining.