With David Wright Setback, Mets Could Have Third Base Problem

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 9:01 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 9:01 PM UTC

The New York Mets have the starting pitching to be a World Series contender this season. However, their lineup is full of injury questions – even more so now at third base after another injury setback suffered by captain David Wright.

Has New York Mets fan-favorite David Wright played his final big-league game? That’s fair to ask now that Wright has been shut down in spring training with a right shoulder impingement. It’s serious enough that Wright was flown back to New York City to be evaluated by doctors at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and two Mets sources told the New York Daily News that the news is "not good."

The 34-year-old Wright once was such a good player. As recently as 2013, he hit .307. Alas, injuries have ruined him since then. Wright has played just 75 regular-season games combined the past two years. He had neck surgery last year for a herniated disc, and he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2015. Doctors think this latest issue is related to the neck surgery. Because Wright can’t throw, he might have to move to first base – or DH when the Mets play in AL parks. Again, that’s assuming he can get healthy. GM Sandy Alderson insisted that no structural damage has been found and that another surgery is not necessary. He’s also not a doctor.

If Wright, who is owed $67 million over the next four years, is going to miss the start of the season, and at a minimum that seems like a lock, Jose Reyes is the backup third baseman. He was a midseason pickup by New York last year and hit .267 with eight homers, 24 RBIs and nine steals in 60 games. The Mets also have utility man Wilmer Flores, who can play third. Neither Reyes nor Flores is close to Wright when Wright is healthy. Reyes himself has had injury problems in his career.

This is the last thing the Mets need as they dealt with numerous injuries last season – both in the lineup and rotation – en route to winning a wild card. They lost that wild-card game at home to San Francisco.

BetOnline’s MLB odds give the Mets a wins total of 87.5 this season – ‘over’ is a -135 favorite -- and they are +165 second-favorites to win the NL East behind Washington (-150).

That Mets rotation could be spectacular if guys like Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom bounce back from injury behind ace Noah Syndergaard. That lineup gives me pause, though. First baseman Lucas Duda, who missed four months last season with a stress fracture in his back, has been having hip troubles in camp. Second baseman Neil Walker had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back in September. What makes anyone think they will stay healthy?

Also keep in mind the team will open the season without closer Jeurys Familia. He’s facing a suspension for an off-field incident last year. It probably will be at least 30 games under the joint domestic violence policy between MLB owners and the Players’ Association.

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