No matter that his production at the plate is flatlining in the second half of the season, and that his batting coach hints that his swing isn't right because of an injury, New York Mets slugger David Wright says to not believe it:
David Wright says his shoulder is not 100 percent, but it's "not a reasonable assessment" to say that's the reason for his production.
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) August 26, 2014
A seven-time All-Star, Wright is batting an astonishingly feeble .215 with two doubles and no other extra-base hits in 145 plate appearances — making for an on-base plus slugging of .499 — in the second half. Overall, he's 13th among third basemen in wins above replacement, and 20th in OPS. He was fifth in WAR in 2013 and would have led in OPS had he enough at-bats to qualify.
Though he turns 32 years old in December, it's hard to believe that Wright suddenly has lost the ability to hit a baseball. The Mets better hope not; Wright is owed $107 million, plus what's left this season, until 2020.
No, something is wrong. He might lack some confidence and be a tad unlucky, but that can't be all. Wright had to be removed from a game Sunday because of muscle spasms in the right side of his neck, an injury that he said occurs "once or twice a year at least." Wright says his struggles at the plate aren't related to muscle spasms, either.
As far as Wright's shoulder goes, Mets manager Terry Collins says it's not hindering production because Wright doesn't receive medical treatment for it anymore. OK. But Mets batting coach Lamar Johnson told SNY that Wright's swing has changed since he injured his shoulder:
“When your shoulder is hurt, it’s really tough. It’s hurt in his left shoulder and that’s where your swing starts, with your left side, your left hand getting to the ball. Its been tough because he’s been trying to play through that. It’s just been a real tough haul because it’s hard to get a consistent swing when you’re in pain.”
The injury has been called a bruised rotator cuff — something that Wright admits requires rest, which is "what the offseason is for."
Perhaps Wright doesn't receive treatment on his shoulder anymore is because there's nothing else that can be done — except for surgery. He's not helping the Mets by being a tough guy and playing through it. It's understandable: Wright wants to try and earn the big check. Captain America doesn't take days off. But if it turns out that Wright gets surgery in the offseason, it's curious as to why the Mets let him play with a bad shoulder. They have the power to shut him down. Why not use it?
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