New York Mets' David Wright Likely Heading to the DL with Back Injury

Ash MarshallSenior Analyst IMay 16, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: David Wright #5 of the New York Mets commits a fielding error in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on April 22, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

New York Mets third baseman David Wright may be placed on the 15-day disabled list this week after an MRI diagnosed a stress fracture in his back.

Wright has been playing hurt since colliding with Carlos Lee on a diving play at third base during the recent road trip in Houston, although he looked to be in a slump long before that particular game.

At a press conference at Citi Field on Monday afternoon, Wright said that he doesn't think he'll be able to contribute for the next two weeks.

While a DL stint has not been made official, Wright's comments definitely make it seem like that's the most likely outcome.

"I've played through this so I know that I'm not scared by any means," Wright said Monday. "Hopefully we can get this thing knocked out in two weeks and be right back at it.

"More frustrating at this point is knowing that we've had some injuries and that I was being counted on to help this team win games and that I'm not going to be able to do this for two weeks."

Wright feels like he needs to try and carry this team on his back, and the fact that he can't help this ballclub seems to worry him more than his own health. beat writer Cash Kruth said that Wright was examined at the Hospital for Special Surgery, but that he "will not go on the disabled list and will remain active until the result of the second opinion is heard."

Personally, I think Wright should go on the DL. This is a back fracture. It's not a muscle sprain or a bruise. He needs time to heal, even if the second doctor says the stress fracture isn't quite as bad as first thought.

You know Wright wants to be in the lineup every day, and you know he wants to do what he can for the club. Sadly right now, this won't help him recover. If he's not on the DL, he will want to play.

You know that seven days into his recovery, he will say that he feels much better and wants to get back in there. Put him on the 15-day DL and don't even offer him the temptation.

It's simply not worth risking a much worse injury for the sake of four or five days of sub-par production.

The five-time All-Star—a career .300 hitter—is batting .226 with six homers, 18 RBI and nine steals through 39 games this season. He has 14 extra-base hits in 146 at-bats and 43 strikeouts compared with 25 walks.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said: "This is a, quote, 'stress fracture'. It's not unlike some other injuries where it has to be shut down and rested.

"Once the pain subsides [he] can go back to baseball activities. But we have not been told that this is something he has to live with for the rest of the season."

This is yet another crippling injury to the Mets. With Ike Davis and Angel Pagan on the DL, and guys like Jason Bay already having missed time, the team will be without another key component.

Kevin Burkhardt just Tweeted that Justin Turner will likely see the bulk of the time at third base in Wright's absence, with Daniel Murphy staying at first base and Ruben Tejada called up from Triple-A Buffalo to play second.

The 21-year-old shortstop is batting .267 with three homers and 18 RBIs in 39 International League outings this year. He batted .213 in 78 appearances with the big club 12 months ago.

Assuming he gets called up within the next two days, he will probably have a week at Citi Field, because Murphy will likely move over to third when Davis returns on May 26. Davis' recovery is on schedule, and he should be ready to get back in the lineup when he's eligible to come off the disabled list.

It's not exactly the infield Mets fans dream of, but it's going to have to do for now.The fundamental lack of Major League-ready talent lower down the organization is a problem, but the team will cope. It has no other choice but to tough it out.

The Mets have done a good job without the other pieces of the lineup in place, and despite the problems and lack of starting pitching, the team is almost a .500 club, which is pretty much where they should be this season.

The team is treading water and it's by no means as bad as a lot of other people thought they would be. Now it's time for Bay to really step up and earn his pay check.

SNY reports that Wright will go for a second opinion on his back, and that he may need 10 days of recovery.

The cynic in me, though, thinks that 10 days is never going to be enough to help a back injury. It sounds like something that could linger for a long time. Let's hope that two weeks of rest will help get Wright back to his old self.