75. New York Mets’ captain David Wright has only played 75 games in the past two seasons according to Baseball-Reference.com, and just a month before Opening Day, Wright has been sidelined with another injury.
On Tuesday, Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson announced that 34-year-old Wright is unlikely to make Opening Day due to shoulder impingement he suffered throwing in Spring Training. This just adds to the recent injuries that have derailed him.
In 2015, Wright suffered a hamstring injury, he was then diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis while rehabbing from the hamstring. The condition of Spinal Stenosis forced Wright to miss most of the season, but Wright returned, however now he must come to ballparks earlier than he used to, just to prepare his back to practice and play a game. In the 2015 postseason, Wright showed how much his back has affected him, by batting .198.
In the 2016 season, Wright continued to struggle, batting .226 with 55 strikeouts in 38 games before being sidelined for the rest of the season with a herniated disk in his neck and being forced to watch the Mets get eliminated in the Wild Card game.
What also makes this unfortunate for Wright and Mets fans, is that the team has turned into a playoff team in his absence. Before 2015, a healthy Wright was one of top third basemen in baseball, a perennial All-Star, but the Mets were no good. From his debut in 2004 to 2014, the Mets qualified for the playoffs once in 2006. Now, the Mets have become relevant again, but with their captain watching from the dugout or at home.
What’s Wright’s future? It’s uncertain what his limit is because he’s played so few games, and he hasn’t played since his neck surgery. Also, nobody knows if he will be productive in helping the Mets qualify for the playoffs for a third consecutive time, something the franchise has never done. Wright will be entering the fifth year of his 8-year contract and though it looks certain he will retire at the end of his contract, there’s a possibility that retirement could come early for him.