PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (CBSNewYork) – As spring training gets underway, it seems forecasting David Wright’s availability for the upcoming season is en vogue.
The Mets’ captain played in just 38 regular season games in 2015 after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said last week the goal is for Wright, 33, to play in 130 games this season.
Wright, however, is reluctant to play that guessing game.
“I want to be out there as much as I can,” he told reporters Friday. “And I think it’s impossible to say ‘X amount of games.’ I think it’s easy to sit here and guess. I’m not going to offer a guess because I’d like to be out there as much as possible. If I feel good and I’m producing and it’s something that’s not hurting my back or hurting the team, then I want to be out there. And if that’s 130 games, then great. If it’s 140 games, even better. I’d like to play as much as I possibly can, but I have to be smart about it.”
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces in the spine, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerves affecting the arms and legs.
Wright said he’s been stubborn in the past when it came to giving an honest assessment about his health. That’s something he said cannot afford to do anymore.
“Starting from Day 1 this year, there’s going to be some days where it just isn’t happening,” he said. “You wake up and, having talked to the doctor, when you have this type of condition, some days you wake up and it’s not working. And I’m going to have to be honest with that because he says … when you feel those days and you push it, that’s when, instead of taking a day or two days, that’s when you’re out for two weeks. You’re talking about DL time when you start pushing that back.”
The Mets will undoubtedly need Wright’s bat as much as possible. He was just one of three players on the team who batted better than .270 last season. The other two were Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy – and Murphy is now in Washington.