Given that outfielder Carlos Beltran is all but guaranteed to be moved at some point here before the July 31st non-waiver trading deadline, the return of David Wright to the Mets lineup tonight is huge to say the least.
For much of the season the 34-year-old Beltran has been the Amazin’s leader both on and off the field. Carlos has taken to mentoring the likes of the younger players on this team including Angel Pagan, Ruben Tejada, and Lucas Duda to name just a few. But with the anticipation that the Mets right fielder will be dealt at some point here seemingly sooner rather than later, David Wright will have to replace Beltran as that leader both on and off the field, all while trying to replace Beltran’s production in the Met line up.
I think both the Metropolitans and Carlos Beltran have been surprised to some extent as to how much Beltran has been able to produce for the Mets lineup, given that the Mets were hoping to get 3-4 games out of the veteran a week. It’s been anything but for the veteran, aching knees and all he’s been able to hold his own here in 2011, and has appeared to regain his 2006-2008 form both in the field but more importantly at the plate.
That being said, with Beltan’s departure expected any day now, the burden will be left to five-time All-Star, third basemen David Wright. The 28-year-old had gotten of to a slow start here in 2011. However, lets not forget prior to being placed on the DL in mid-May, Wright tried to tough out and play through a stress fractured back, but ultimately it was just too much to overcome and David just wasn’t performing up to his ability.
For years now many have looked at Wright as the guy who needs to take charge and be the Mets leader both on and off the field, but it appears at certain times that David is very indifferent to role. Certainly, he won’t be the vocal leader calling guys out, but at some point Wright will have to step up and be that leader for the Mets if this team is going to succeed and win in years to come.
More importantly, at least in the short term if Carlos Beltran is indeed dealt, which at this point seems like a forgone conclusion, David Wright will have to step up and replace the production Beltran was giving this team on a night in and night out basis.