David Wright was asked by a reporter Monday if age or his sore shoulder are the root of his struggles at the plate this season.
“I think that you don’t get the results that you want, all of a sudden you start messing with some things,” Wright said. “It becomes that grind and that search that you always hear people talk about.”
Wright was hitless in four at bats Monday, two days after being hit with a fastball in an already-sore shoulder, which he refuses to blame for his struggles this season.
“The shoulder is not an excuse,” Wright said. “When I go tell the manager that I’m good to play, I expect to produce. I’m not thinking about the shoulder. … There’s no sense in whining and moaning about it now. I’ve got however many weeks to get it going a little bit and hopefully finish strong and let that carry over into the offseason.”
Wright said in July that he first injured his shoulder in mid-June sliding headfirst in to second base. It forced him to miss a week in July, after which he received a cortisone shot heading into the All-Star break.
He was then hit in the shoulder with a fastball from Cubs RHP Dan Straily on Saturday.
“I wanted to come to the ballpark (Monday) with the mindset of trying to give it a shot,” he said after the game. “Everything worked out pretty well. I got the treatment, tested it and felt good.”
Terry Collins said Wright simply has a bruise and is not dealing with any structural damage to his shoulder.
Wright had an extra base hit in just 6 percent of his plate appearances prior to first injuring his shoulder. He has one in 7 percent of his plate appearances since.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
This has got to be the most difficult season of his offensive career, no doubt. He’s been a mess since Opening Day, with only a handful of short-lived hot streaks to lean on. In talking to him and people around the team, if I had to guess, I’d say he’s doing extra work in the gym and cage to try and overcome this shoulder situation, which, though there may be no structural damage, has clearly impacted his mechanics, gotten in his head and has created bad habits and second-guessing at the plate. I mean, even his quotes are a philosophical mess. I’m sure it doesn’t help that the team is heading for a sixth-straight sub .500 season.
Wright is coming off two of his most productive all-around seasons, so to suggest he’s all of a sudden an old man, incapable of playing baseball overnight is kind of foolish. It is, however, fair to ask if this is the start of a decline. I mean, I love David, but it happens to every one. It has to. It’s human nature. At 31 years old, he should be able to shake this off and return to being the player he was as recently as a year ago. However, it should also be a wake-up call to the Mets that maybe David is approaching a a turning point in his career, if he hasn’t already passed it, and he may not be able to shoulder as much of this team’s load as he used to… no pun intended.