In their first game of the season against the Washington Nationals last night, the Mets faced Max Scherzer without David Wright and Lucas Duda in the lineup. Both are dealing with untimely back injuries which put their availability in question for the rest of the series.
Wright, who was diagnosed with spinal stenosis last year, reported notable discomfort that compelled Terry Collins to pull him from the lineup. While the captain tried to work through the pain, Collins wisely protected his third baseman to avoid a longer setback.
"I said, 'I can't do that to you, to us, to the organization,'" Collins told reporters after the game. "You sacrificing yourself tonight could lead to a month."
Wright had previously received seven scheduled off days this season, but those plans didn't include sitting him against Washington after the team didn't play on Monday. A career .338/.432/.569 hitter against lefties, his absence would have especially been felt against southpaw Gio Gonzalez tonight. Fortunately, Wright's back issues appear to have cleared up for now, as he is slated to start at third base.
Duda felt back stiffness after Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies, so the Mets promoted Matt Reynolds and gave him his first MLB start. Not in a hurry to rush Duda back with a lefty on the hill, Collins will sit him on Wednesday with hopes of him returning against Stephen Strasburg on Thursday. The first baseman has posted an uncharacteristically low .299 on-base percentage this season partly because of a career-low 8.0 percent walk rate. Since going deep twice on May 4, he has hit .176 (6-for-34) with eight strikeouts in 11 games.