David Wright Just Needs a Little More Time
Last night I came away with the same impression of David Wright as everyone else did. He looked done. He couldn’t catch up to the fastball. He couldn’t get anything on his throws. It’s just really hard to play baseball when you have a fork sticking out of your back – it’s worse when you have spinal stenosis.
With all that said, there are some reasons to have some patience here. Other than Curtis Granderson‘s fly ball out to start the game, no Met was able to hit the ball into the outfield against Edison Volquez. In fact, Volquez only allowed two hits over six innings. He was making all the Mets hitters not named Michael Conforto look bad. Keep in mind, Wright did show a good eye, and he was able to work out a walk. As for not hitting Wade Davis, who does? As a reliever, the man has a career 1.32 ERA in 287.0 innings. No, we should not have expected Wright to get hits off of these two pitchers last night.
As for Wright in the field, it was a mixed bag. What everyone is pointing to is his poor throws. His inability to get anything on those throws led to two base hits. However, what we are ignoring was Wright’s range. He got to Eric Hosmer‘s bunt when the shift was on. He got to ball Omar Infante hit down the third base line. Yes, a good throw (or even a slightly below average throw) would’ve gotten those runners. However, Wright got to two balls that required some range. That is a good sign.
Even with these facts brought to light, yes, Wright’s arm looked weak, and his bat looked slow. Fact is he may still need some more time to get ready.
Remember, Wright started preparing for the season later than he usually does. He didn’t play in a Spring Training game until March 18th, which is less than a month ago. He didn’t play in a full game until last Tuesday. He didn’t play multiple games in a row until last week. Couple that with his taking less batting practice and infield practice, and you have a player that may still need more time to get ready for the 2016 season.
And if you look back at the 2015 season, there is room for hope. Before Wright went on the disabled list, he was hitting .333/.371/.424. This was before he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and learned how to address it. Keep in mind, he didn’t suddenly acquire spinal stenosis with one awkward slide. When Wright was diagnosed, and he returned from the disabled list, he hit .277/.381/.437. So no, Wright didn’t forget how to play baseball.
Furthermore, Wright has learned he has to listen to his body. He’s not going to push it. He’s going to play when he’s healthy enough to play. This should result in him being a better player on the days he does play.
Overall, he just needs to play more than one game before we begin to judge him. He may need a week or a month before he returns to the David Wright of old, or at least the David Wright of last year, who was a good ball player.
Wright’s earned the right for the fans to have a little patience with him before we say that he’s done, especially since no one can honestly say that after one game.