UPDATE: The Mets have placed David Wright on the 15-Day DL, and have recalled Eric Campbell from AAA Las Vegas.
The New York Mets staved off the Philadelphia Phillies in the late innings of Matt Harvey’s return to Citi Field. But all may not be well in New York, as face of the franchise David Wright was pulled from the game in the 8th inning after pulling his right hamstring.
In front of an electric crowd, the Mets satisfied the home fans by securing a win against the rival Phillies. But losing David Wright could be much worse than simply losing a game.
The extent of Wright’s injury is up in the air as he awaits MRI results and doctor consultation. Manager Terry Collins describes the situation as “a major problem.”
Not “potentially a major problem” or “a situation we’re monitoring” but flat-out a major problem. Collins likely wouldn’t say this unless he knew Wright could be missing some time.
Wright, 32, is no stranger to injury, playing in no more than 134 games in three of the last four seasons, bottoming out at 102 games in 2011. However, Wright has played in at least 102 games every year besides his rookie campaign.
What this means is Wright routinely spends a couple weeks on the disabled list each year but doesn’t tend to stay long.
The Mets and their fans should hope this injury follows that pattern. Collins has suggested Wright will miss at least the finale against the Phillies and quite possibly some more time. A trip to the 15-day DL is definitely not out of the question.
How will the Mets be impacted by Wright’s potential absence? The captain is hitting .321 so far this season with a .367 OBP, both well-above team averages.
The Mets are hitting .209 as a team so far, good for 25th in MLB. The Mets are also 23rd in runs scored, with 22. Wright’s production would be sorely missed on a team yearning for offense.
Defensively, the Mets would also need to do some scrambling. Catcher Anthony Recker finished the game at third base in the Mets win, but is not an everyday answer. By trade, there are no other third basemen on the roster.
Listed second on the Mets third base depth chart is Daniel Murphy, the starting second baseman. However, if Ruben Tejada started in his place, Murphy could move to third for a short time if needed.
If Wright hits the DL, other infielders on the Mets 40-man roster include Wilfredo Tovar (.167 average in 18 career at-bats), and Dilsom Herrera (.220 in 59 at-bats last year.)
Eric Campbell is an interesting option, as the naturual first baseman has major league experience at third base, manning the position for 19 games last year and hitting .263 in 85 total games. Campbell had a .971 fielding percentage at third, his lowest at any position but still not low enough where he would be a liability.
Even off the 40-man roster, the Las Vegas 51s do not have a player with third base listed as his primary position. Dany Muno typically starts at third base, a second baseman by trade with no major league experience.
All in all, the Mets do not have a strong support system at third base behind David Wright. If his injury is short-term, some infield shifting around could be an adequate solution. But if Wright is out long-term, the Mets could be in trouble.