The New York Mets announced Tuesday that their captain, third baseman David Wright, will miss several weeks with an impingement in his right shoulder according to MLB.com. It is highly unlikely that Wright will start on Opening Day.
After a rough and painful week of practice, Wright told manager Terry Collins that he “might have to invest in a first baseman’s mitt”. He was then flown from Port St. Lucie, Florida, the home to the New York Mets Spring Training, to New York for examination.
Wright had neck surgery in June of last year; he didn’t throw a baseball for a couple months. The Mets general manager Sandy Alderson says that the team doctors believe that the resumption of throwing this spring after not having done so for such a long period of time contributed to his shoulder irritation.
Additionally, because of his prior injuries, Wright has developed a side-arm delivery when he throws. This could also be another reason why he is having shoulder issues.
The 35-year old third baseman appeared in only 75 games in 2015 and 2016 combined due to spinal stenosis and a herniated disk in his neck. He hasn’t been healthy for an entire season since 2012.
In his current contract with the Mets, Wright is owed $20 million this year and another $47 million over the next three years.
The Mets have some depth at third base, though. Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes got a majority of the reps during Wright’s absence last year. Reyes played 50 games at third base this past year and will most likely take over the position. Flores is getting work in at first base this spring.
Doctors are telling Wright that he can regain strength in his shoulder as long as he goes through a strengthening program and gets plenty of rest. The recovery process will take multiple weeks. Wright can serve as the Mets’ designated hitter while recovering, but can’t take any reps on the field.
Shoulder impingement is not known to be a career-ending injury, but since Wright has been through so much, he might have to call it quits; however, Terry Collins is very confident that Wright will make a full recovery,
“It’s very hard. But there are certain people who can deal with adversity and know how to get through it, and David’s one of those guys. He’s not going to stand in the way of us progressing in Spring Training. He’ll get on a program. He’ll do his stuff. But I know one thing: He will be with us in spirit every day. He’ll be in that clubhouse every day leading the charge, like he always has. I just hope he continues to progress and gets back.”
Wright was expected to come back this season and bounce back, but after this setback, it could be the end of the road for the Mets’ captain.