After advancing to the World Series last year and returning the best top-to-bottom rotation in baseball, the New York Mets enter the 2016 season with high expectations.
And one potentially major headache.
David Wright went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in New York’s season-opening 4-3 loss at Kansas City on Sunday. It’s only one game, sure, but Wright, 33, has battled various injuries in recent years and was limited to just 38 games last season. He’s a team captain and Mets icon, but he won’t be in the 2-hole much longer if his struggles continue.
Could that put manager Terry Collins in a tough spot in terms of managing Wright’s health and reputation with his production and spot in the lineup?
“Great question,” Mets broadcaster Ron Darling said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Terry Collins is as tough as nails. He’ll be able to get past some of the knee-jerk reactions that are going to happen. This is what I will tell you: At the end of the day, Terry Collins will, in due time, put the best team out in the best position in the best lineup position to make sure that the Mets have the best chance to win.”
Wright averaged 20.5 home runs from 2010-13 but has hit just 13 over the last two seasons combined (172 games). He hit .185 with one homer, two doubles and seven RBIs in 14 postseason games for the Mets last season.
Time will tell how Wright fares this year, but Darling believes he can return to form.
“David is an amazing player – the best everyday player to put on a Mets uniform,” Darling said. “I think he deserves – considering the injuries he’s had the last couple of years – the respect of playing himself into where he might be very effective. And if that doesn’t happen, I think, with time, you make a change. Terry Collins will not be afraid to do that, and I think the Mets won’t be afraid to do that.”