6:20pm: A pair of Mets sources tell Kristie Ackert and Christian Red of the New York Daily News that the news on Wright’s shoulder following today’s examination is “not good.” Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters today that Wright’s shoulder woes are related to last year’s surgery to address a herniated disk in his neck and conceded that this latest setback makes Wright’s Opening Day availability “questionable.” The longtime Mets captain also had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his shoulder to reduce inflammation this spring.
Wright “is not going to be throwing for a couple of weeks” and will be focusing on exercises to strengthen his shoulder, though he can also continue to serve as a DH in spring contests. Asked about the possibility of Wright shifting across the diamond to first base, Alderson told the media: “Well, if he can’t throw, it makes every position less realistic. … [O]ur goal is to get him back to third base.”
8:27am: Mets third baseman David Wright will have to halt his throwing program after being diagnosed with a shoulder impingement, as Mike Puma of the New York Post was among those to report (Twitter links). Though it seems he’s still able to swing the bat at present, the news represents a delay in Wright’s timeline to return to the majors.
This is hardly the first roadblock that the veteran has faced, of course. He battled a serious back condition (spinal stenosis) last spring and throughout the season, only to see his comeback bid end with neck surgery. Now 34 years of age, Wright has played in just 75 games over the past two seasons.
At this point, the ability to throw the baseball seems to be the major limiting factor, as Wright has ramped up his hitting at a considerably quicker rate. For the DH-less Mets, though, there’s little function for the veteran if he’s unable to play the field, so he’ll need to build up arm strength before he can see time on the active roster.
Wright was already facing a time crunch in terms of preparing for Opening Day, as he had yet to begin regular work in the field. With this latest setback, it seems all but certain he’ll open the season on the DL. While that’s hardly an unexpected result for the club, which is no doubt taking the long view here, it’s disappointing to see other issues arising as Wright seeks to somehow play through the significant health conditions he has encountered.
The Mets have already foreseen the need to cover for missed time from Wright, of course, so it’s not as if the team will need to rush out and find a replacement. Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores are both available to fill in, and the open roster spot may clear some additional daylight for players such as T.J. Rivera, Gavin Cecchini, and Matt Reynolds.