David Wright, the Mets’ current captain and the best position player in franchise history, is again trying to overcome injury and make it back to the field as the 2017 season is set to begin. After being diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2015 and missing a large chunk of that season as a result, Wright had surgery for a herniated disk in his neck early last season. That knocked him out for the rest of the year.
Now, Wright is trying to work through a shoulder impingement in his throwing arm, which stunted his spring training early. He looked good at the plate in the spring training games he played as a designated hitter, but given that the National League doesn’t have those—a smattering of interleague games aside—Wright must get through the shoulder injury to rejoin the Mets’ active roster.
Health is clearly the main question as Wright moves forward this year. If he is able to make it back, what he’s done at the plate in his limited playing time the past two years has been good. His dramatic, monster home run against the Phillies upon his return late in the 2015 season was one of five he hit that year and part of a .289/.379/.434 line. And he was a productive hitter last year, too, with a .226/.350/.438 line and seven home runs in 164 plate appearances.
So it’s not just sentimentality that makes Wright’s potential return desirable. The Mets have a good amount on infield depth and shouldn’t have any problem contending while he’s on the shelf. But getting Wright back in the lineup, even if just a few times per week, would still make things better. Maybe he won’t make it back this time, but don’t give up on David Wright’s season—or career—before he does.