The Reality of David Wright’s Comeback Attempt
David Wright isn't giving up on baseball.
The longtime New York Mets third baseman was thought by many to have played his last professional game when, this spring, he was shelved after admitting he couldn't throw a baseball without felling pain in his shoulder. This came as he was rehabbing from a neck surgery to repair a herniated disk. And, don't forget all of this followed the 2015 diagnosis of spinal stenosis, a condition that called into question the possibility that he could play in the 'bigs' in any capacity.
Wright, soon to be 35, last played for the Mets in late-May of 2016 and has only played in a combined 75 games in the last three years. But on Tuesday night, Wright served as the designated hitter for the Class-A Port St. Lucie Mets, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Wright told Bill Whitehead of MLB.com:
"As far as a good first step, I'll take it. Certainly sooner rather than later I want to see some results, have some better at-bats. It's not going to come overnight. I haven't played in over a year, so it's going to be somewhat of a slow process."
I applaud his persistence to continue rehab and to not give up on his pursuit of a return as the Met's everyday third baseman.
There is no time table to return to the Mets, but I don't expect him that he'll ever be the team's everyday third baseman, ever again. And you shouldn't either.
I half expect that he'll hit a road block at some point along the way - landing him on the DL for extended period, finally forcing his retirement. Or, if he can stay healthy, he's probably better served as a DH in the American League; Take away the everyday on-field grind, remove the chance of re-injury by eliminating long throws across the diamond, all while allowing him to serve as a solid, veteran, contact hitter for an AL club.
It'll be sad to see him go - he's the Mets' franchise leader in plate appearances, at bats, hits, singles, doubles, total bases, RBIs, walks and more.
But it's probably what's best for him, and provides his only opportunity to land a spot on the big-league roster.
Could Wright ever return to the role of captain for a franchise that's building for tomorrow with the call-ups of Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith? Could he be the vet that helps shape these two emerging talents?
This Mets fan would surely love to see it. But I'm fairly certain Wright's days on the hot corner in Queens are over.