According to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, David Wright is ramping up baseball activities as he works to finally return to the field. Wright, 32, has only played eight games this season as he deals with lumbar spinal stenosis. The injury is one of delicate nature, as there were some doubts within the Mets organization earlier in the year if Wright could return at any point this season.
On Thursday morning, Wright will practice at a Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where Terry Collins will be present. Wright will continue to workout on Friday and Saturday and will be evaluated afterward. If all goes well, Wright may be in minor league game action as early as Monday. After he passes in-game tests, Wright will be up with the team as soon as possible to help the Mets down the stretch run. A couple target dates could be Friday, August 14th at home against the Pirates, or Tues, August 18th on the road against Baltimore.
The return of Wright would be a huge boon to the franchise that’s had one of the wackiest two weeks in recent sports history. Now, with the lineup bolstered by the likes of Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe, and a herculean Lucas Duda, the Mets become a legitimate offensive threat. After the early season struggles when calling the offense anemic was a compliment, the team now becomes as strong as it’s been all season entering the most important stretch of the season against their softest part of the schedule.
A franchise that is fighting to make the playoffs for the first time in 2006, the return of the franchise cornerstone and a dramatic postseason run could ignite the Mets organization at the perfect time. In the NL East, the Phillies and Braves are rebuilding. The Marlins are forever hampered by an ownership unwilling to spend an adequate amount of money on the team. The Nationals are continuously having trouble breaking through and being the juggernaut they were projected to be. Washington also has four key free agents they are unlikely to all resign, along with their own cornerstone players like Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper that are getting more expensive through arbitration.
If the Mets are able to infuse life into their fan base, skyrocket revenue, and continue to increase payroll to support their on-field product, they can take control of the division for the foreseeable future. A competitive team and postseason appearances have positive effects on franchises past each individual season.
It’s August 5, 2015, and the Mets are in first place. In two weeks, the captain may be back. In two months, the Mets might be back in the playoffs. The division is weakening, and the time to strike is now.
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