Collins Ready to Move Wright Out of the Three Spot

An article by posted on August 25, 2014 0 Comments

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Marc Carig of Newsday writes that for the first time in his career, Wright has statistically slipped into the realm of a below-average major-leaguer.

Additionally, with Wright locked in his slump, manger Terry Collins is finally ready to consider removing his struggling star out of the number three spot in the batting order – a move he’s resisted vehemently at times throughout the last two months.

“There’s not a segment of this team that isn’t talked about everyday, not a segment, who to play, and when to play. where to hit him, who should be hitting behind him, in front of him. Not a segment.”

Carig points out that hitting in the third spot, Wright leads the Mets with 310 RBI opportunities. But because he hasn’t hit for power, Wright has knocked in only 56 runs, 20 behind team leader Lucas Duda.

He also reports that Collins has explored moving Daniel Murphy into the third spot, with Wright changing places and hitting second for the first time since 2010. The drawback, however, is that Murphy and cleanup hitter Duda would be stacked back to back.

Keith Hernandez said something worth noting during the weekend.

“They keep calling this a slump. A slump can last two weeks, a month even. This isn’t a slump. You know what this is.”

Wright was pulled from Sunday’s game in the third inning with a muscle spasm on the right side of his neck. However, ESPN New York reports that Wright doesn’t expect to miss Tuesday’s series opener at Citi Field against Atlanta.

Look, you all know my thoughts on this.

Believe me I’m not pounding my chest. This sucks. I’m not happy about this, but you know it’s the right thing to do. It’s a couple of months too late, but whatever.

With less pressure to perform maybe something clicks for Wright.

That’s the hope.

August 24 – Get Wright Out of the Third Spot for His Sake and the Team

A month ago I took some flack when I suggested it was high time for the Mets to get David Wright out of the number three spot because he was suffocating the offense and desperately needed to work things out with his his swing and his mental approach in a less critical spot in the batting order.

Back then I worked up a chart illustrating just how poorly he was doing compared to other No. 3 hitters in the majors:

mlb number 3 hitters 250

I’m sorry to report that things have only deteriorated in the weeks following, and Wright now ranks 30th or worse in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS which now stands at .698 for the season.

Things have gotten so bad that in last night’s 7-4 defeat, the Dodgers walked Daniel Murphy to put two men on base so that they could pitch to David Wright and snuff out a potential Mets rally.

Predictably, Wright proceeded to strike out, swinging wildly at three pitches including an 89 mph fastball that he was late on.

For the night, Wright finished 0-for-5 with two double plays and two strikeouts while leaving six runners stranded on base.

“When you go up there and you have a chance to impact the game in a positive way and you don’t get it done, it’s tough,” Wright said. “I have to find a way to get it done. No sense in hanging your head.”

Already on pace to post career lows in just about every major offensive category including on-base percentage, slugging and OPS, he continues to be hung out to dry batting third and snuffing out one scoring opportunity after another.

As I said last month, I’m not going to delve into the reasons behind Wright’s problems this season, is it age-related, is it his shoulder. is it Citi Field, is he suffering from a lack of protection… Nobody really knows…

But the fact remains that this team can no longer support such futility from the most important spot in the lineup. 

The third spot in the lineup is the most critical as far as directly impacting offensive results, more so than any other spot in the lineup. The three spot is the linchpin and what the rest of the lineup feeds off of.

We build such emotional connections with our favorite stars that sometimes we blind ourselves to deciphering results and we develop an unwillingness to change something we’ve become so accustomed to – in this case seeing Wright penciled into the three spot.

The problem with Wright now extends beyond his numbers. The eyeball-test, as Keith Hernandez calls it, shows a ongoing pattern of Wright no longer driving the ball as he once did and that is what accounts for his precipitous drop in run production.

After the game, a dejected Wright himself admitted what I’ve been saying all along on this matter.

“The other team can probably see that I don’t feel very good at the plate.”

That’s absolutely right, and last night you saw a perfect example of how rapidly things have deteriorated. When a team puts the tying runs on base, late in the game, so that they could face your team’s number three hitter, then it’s time for a new number three hitter.

“This is no fun. I’m not having any fun,” Wright says. “The team isn’t having any fun,” Wright said. “I want to get back to consistently feeling comfortable and feeling dangerous at the plate. Right now that’s not there.”

Again… This may come off as an indictment on David Wright, but it’s not. It’s about constructing a better lineup and scoring more runs. 

Unfortunately, manager Terry Collins is as stubborn and pig-headed as always, so don’t expect this situation to improve anytime soon. He even shot down a suggestion to give Wright a much-needed day off to try and get him straightened out.

“I don’t think the stars need days off. I think the stars realize they have to figure it out on the field and gotta get it done. He is the leader on this team. We need him out there.”

Wow… Just wow…

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.