It’s been more than a year since he’s played in a professional baseball game, but David Wright is now back on the diamond. The Mets’ third baseman has reportedly started playing catch, fielding ground balls, and hitting off a tee.
The Mets captain has been plagued by injuries since 2015, when he was sidelined by spinal stenosis that kept him out of action until the tail end of the season. The plan going into 2016 was to keep him fresh by curtailing his playing time, but that backfired in spectacular fashion. There was also hope he’d be back earlier this season, but that was quickly dashed as well.
It seems unlikely the Mets would want to rush Wright back onto the field. The team is in a precarious position in the standings, and the infield is fairly crowded now that Amed Rosario is in the big leagues and Dominic Smith could be next. But there’s no way to measure what Wright’s impact could be in the clubhouse in the efforts to rebound in 2018.
When he’s been on the field, Wright has still been a fairly effective player. The injuries have no doubt limited his defensive skills, but in the 75 games he played over the previous two seasons, he hit .260/.364/.435, good for an above-average OPS. He still has a long way to go to get back on the field, but it’s a step in the right direction.