The most popular Met by far is David Wright. When you walk into Dick’s Sporting Goods or Sports Authority, the first Met shirt you see is David Wright. And, this is for good reason. He was a leader statistics wise (he owns practically every Mets offensive title), a leader in the community, and the actual captain of team.
Lately however, Wright has been struggling. Last year, it was the spinal stenosis. This year a back issue has set him back. And Wright, who only played in one week worth of Spring Training games, looked terrible both on the field and at the plate last night during Opening Night. Now, you can name any player ever to play the sport and I’ll be able to show you one of their poorer games, but I can’t help but worry about Wright, who looks like he can’t throw across the diamond, and can’t catch a 94 miles per hour fast ball.
However not everybody is as worried as I am. Mark Simon, a columnist for ESPN, says:
“For the short term, nothing (but for one tweak that we’ll get to in a moment). Wright’s the captain and one of the best players in Mets history, and there’s every reason to believe he can still be a productive player, even if it’s going to take him a little while to get going.
We’re not ready to proclaim that he’s Derek Jeter or Kobe Bryant at the end of their respective careers just yet. His 38-game regular-season offensive numbers from 2015 (a .379 on-base percentage and a homer every 30 at-bats) tell us that he’s still got something good in him.”
However, I think that David Wright’s injuries will make him different from the typical baseball player in the middle of his career. Spinal Stenosis is an injury that can only get worse, and historically speaking, players with injuries like this tend to fall quick.
Here’s the biggest problem. There is no foreseeable resolution that makes sense. There have been captains that have sat on the bench in the last years of their respective careers, Jason Varitek comes to mind, but that’s not something that the Mets will do with Wright due to the price the Mets are paying to have Wright on their team.
Whatever the solution is, it has to be suitable to Wright’s health and allow him to play without overwhelming him. However, this solution might not exist.