Mets third baseman David Wright was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement earlier this week, and he told reporters today that a second opinion confirmed the diagnosis of an impingement and instability in his right shoulder (via Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News). More troubling was the fact that Wright said there’s no time frame for his return to baseball activities. Per the New York Post’s Mike Puma (on Twitter), Wright says he is embarking on an “aggressive, time-consuming rehab” of the shoulder.
Originally, Wright was said to be shut down from throwing for at least the next two weeks, though today’s meeting with the media suggests a substantially lengthier absence. He can continue to hit in a batting cage as he rehabs his shoulder.
With Wright on the shelf for an indeterminate amount of time, third base duties will fall to Jose Reyes. While the former shortstop has also been taking some reps in center field to enhance his versatility during Spring Training, he figures to land the majority of the work at the hot corner, with Wilmer Flores and perhaps T.J. Rivera also serving as options. Given the uncertainties across the diamond, where first baseman Lucas Duda has received cortisone injections in both hips after being slowed by pain early this spring, each of Reyes, Flores and Rivera could be in line for larger roles than initially expected. Jay Bruce has been getting a look at first base this spring as well.
[Related: New York Mets Depth Chart]
Wright said today that he still plans to return to the field this season, and per Newsday’s Marc Carig, he made no indication that he’s considering this latest injury the beginning of the end (Twitter link). Per Carig, right called the rehab process “well worth it.”
Once one of the game’s elite players, Wright batted a combined .302/.384/.505 with 208 homers, 177 steals, seven All-Star nods, two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers from 2005-13. His consistent excellence prompted the Mets to sign Wright to an eight-year, $138MM extension, spanning the 2013-20 seasons. However, since a terrific but injury-shortened 2013 season, Wright has batted a more pedestrian .266/.339/.396 in 924 plate appearances across three seasons. He’s averaged 70 games per year over the past three campaigns and battled through a series of injuries, most notably including spinal stenosis and a herniated disk in his neck that required surgical repair last year. He’s owed a total of $67MM over the remaining four seasons on his contract.