Long-injured third baseman David Wright is working toward a 2018 comeback as the season nears an end, but the Mets aren’t optimistic he’ll return to the majors this year. Assistant general manager John Ricco suggested Friday (via Mike Puma of the New York Post) that Wright won’t have time to get up to speed, saying “it does get more difficult to foresee a situation where he could come back” to the bigs this season. Ricco added that money won’t play a role in whether Wright takes the field for the Mets this year, noting that he hasn’t been medically cleared to play in the majors. However, the club will take a financial hit if he does, Puma points out. The 35-year-old is still due approximately $2.6MM through season’s end, but insurance will pay 75 percent of that sum if he stays on the shelf. Otherwise, the Mets will have to pay all of it, and if they continue to keep Wright on ice, he may have a case for a grievance – albeit one he’d likely lose – as Puma explains. A series of upper body issues, including spinal stenosis, have prevented the career-long Met and seven-time All-Star from playing in the majors since May 27, 2016.
- The Cardinals expected to have right-hander Michael Wacha back in their rotation by now, but the left oblique strain that has shelved him since June 20 continues to pose a problem. Ten days after exiting a Double-A start on account of oblique issues, the rehabbing Wacha was unable to make his scheduled start with Triple-A Memphis on Friday because of “discomfort” in that area, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Wacha’s now slated to return “to St. Louis for more evaluation,” according to Cardinals manager Mike Shildt. With so little time remaining in the season, Wacha may be done for the year, Hummel observes. Fortunately for the Cardinals, who are clinging to a one-game lead for the NL’s second wild-card spot, fellow righty Adam Wainwright is on the cusp of returning from his own injury issues. The former ace is set to join Miles Mikolas, Austin Gomber, Jack Flaherty and John Gant in the Cards’ rotation – a group that appears increasingly likely to finish 2018 without Wacha. The 27-year-old had been one of the Redbirds’ most effective starters before his injury, as he logged a 3.20 ERA/4.21 FIP over 84 1/3 innings.
- In further unwelcome news for the Cardinals, catcher Yadier Molina is dealing with a strained left hamstring and will sit out for at least the weekend – if not longer – Shildt revealed (via Hummel). Although Molina’s strain is “mild,” there’s “no timetable” for his return, per Shildt. Molina already missed several weeks earlier in the season with a pelvic injury, but the potential Hall of Famer has otherwise turned in another terrific year, with a .273/.324/.447 line and 17 home runs over 447 plate appearances and quality work behind the dish. For as long as the 36-year-old Molina’s out, St. Louis will rely on Francisco Pena and Carson Kelly to handle the position.
- Marlins righty Dan Straily exited his start against Pittsburgh on Friday with a left oblique strain, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets. The severity of the injury isn’t clear, but with time running out on the rebuilding Marlins’ season, it seems fair to surmise that Straily won’t pitch again in 2018. The 29-year-old has posted a respectable 4.12 ERA with 7.28 K/9 against 3.83 BB/9 over 122 1/3 innings this season, but ERA indicators such as FIP (5.11), xFIP (4.99) and SIERA (4.92) haven’t been enamored of his work.