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Coutinho: Mets Need To Play It Safe With Injured Wright

(credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

(credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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By Rich Coutinho
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The news about David Wright is not good. He suffered a small fracture at the middle joint of the pinkie on his throwing hand.

You would assume he would be put on the disabled list. But the statement from the Mets indicated that was not necessarily the case: “David can return to baseball activities as tolerated.” After the game, Wright had a temporary splint on his finger and said he would see a hand specialist Wednesday to further evaluate the injury.

“We are going to wait a few days because it is a small fracture and we want the hand specialist to weigh in on it,” Mets manager Terry Collins said after Tuesday night’s loss. “The thing I am most fearful about is playing with it could alter his swing, and that is what we want to avoid.”

There’s only one way to avoid that. Put him on the disabled and let this small fracture heal with rest and therapy. The team is just five games into the season and if we learned anything from last year, Wright will play through pain — which is why someone needs to be the adult in the room.

When it comes to hitters, hands are their lifeblood. They must be in proper working condition. The last thing you want to happen here is David to alter his swing to alleviate the pain, and the next thing you know he’s getting into bad habits. Let the fracture heal for two or three weeks and get him 100 percent healthy.

If this were August or September, I might have a different approach, but it’s so early in the season.

Why risk it? It just makes no sense.

I know Mets fans feel they have seen this play before — and I totally understand why they feel that way — but you have to look at the big picture here. I know the Mets are off to a 4-1 start and this puts a damper on the early-season optimism. But if the Mets are going to do anything this year, they’ll need a healthy Wright and the best way to do that is let this fracture heal naturally. In the meantime, Justin Turner and Ronny Cedeno will share third base duties and try to hold the fort.

The Mets’ pitching has been very good and fans should be encouraged by that. Johan Santana will take the ball Wednesday, trying to give the Mets a 5-1 start. These are all positives.

Every team will go through a moment in the season when a star player is out a few weeks and they need someone to step up. Getting Ike Davis hot could provide a jolt the Mets will need in Wright’s absence.

But under no circumstances should the Mets let David play with a small fracture on the pinkie of his right hand.

They must resist the temptation. And the best way to do that is to put him on the disabled list immediately.

Do you agree that Wright should go straight to the DL? Sound off in the comments below…