It didn’t take long for David Wright to have his first setback of the spring. Earlier this week, Sandy Alderson said David has a shoulder impingement. Today, Wright confirmed the injury after getting a second opinion in New York. The injury is related to his neck fusion surgery, and he’s being shut down indefinitely.
For the record, this is the millionth time David Wright has had a “career ending” setback in the last three years. Every single time they announce a new Wright injury it hurts me as much as the last time. It’s honestly torture for me as a fan, and I can’t even imagine how awful it must be for the guy who’s getting neck operations and constantly rehabbing a degenerative spinal condition. It’s too hard to even write about again. Pray for David. I don’t care if he ever plays again. All I care about is that this guy lives a long healthy life outside of baseball.
Does this setback hurt the Mets’ chances of competing in 2017? No not really. I haven’t been willing to pencil David Wright into our projected lineup for three years now. And for the first time this year the Mets aren’t depending on him either. Some combination of Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores will slot right in at third base. That combination should be very productive at the plate and provide acceptable defense (barely).
That being said, the Mets should undoubtedly sign Kelly Johnson to take Wright’s spot on the roster. If David ever plays again it sure as hell won’t be by Opening Day 2017. They’ve said Lucas Duda is feeling better after his back/hip cortisone injections, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Kelly Johnson can play third base, first base, second base, and outfield. It’s always made sense to bring him back, but it makes even more sense now. The Mets need to make it happen.
And the Mets also need to start having Jay Bruce take reps at first base in spring games immediately. They can’t afford to delay because we all know Duda’s back could still be barking come Opening Day.
The Mets also need to experiment with Bruce at first base just to try and create more playing time for Michael Conforto. The team has only played a few Grapefruit League Games but so far Conforto is hitting .538. If Conforto continues to rake this spring then he’s starting in my Opening Day outfield. I don’t care where he starts. I don’t care whether Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce lose out on playing time. If Conforto has solved the problems he dealt with at the plate last year then the Mets need to find him major league ABs.
There’s no reason for excuses. I don’t care that the veterans have high salaries. Plus the Wilpons will be raking in so much money on Wright’s insurance policy they won’t even have to worry about the money being wasted on Bruce as he sits on the bench.
Pray for David.