David Wright insists he’s not injured and that he’s not hurting. Instead, he tells Daily News columnist John Harper that he is struggling mentally at the plate, and that he has forgotten what it feels like to be in a good hitting groove.
“I’ve made some mistakes this year, revamping some things with my swing that I probably shouldn’t mess with,” Wright said.
“Especially after the All-Star break I started trying to change things when I didn’t get the results I wanted. Pretty soon you’re trying something new every at-bat and thinking about all the wrong things.”
Wright is mired in one of the longest slumps he’s ever experienced and is sitting on career lows in on-base percentage (.329) and slugging (.386). He has just one extra-base hit since the All-Star break and his .714 OPS is almost 200 points lower than last season.
“Instead of realizing there are going to be times during the season when you’re going to have a hiccup and you need to ride it out, I was too quick to make adjustments, and you get to the point where you can’t remember what it felt like when you were going good.”
Harper said Wright sounded like a man whose confidence is surprisingly fragile and that at this point it has to be somewhat alarming to the Mets.
Manager Terry Collins believes that Wright is simply trying too hard to carry an “offensively challenge club.” He also says the shoulder injury may have created some bad habits at the plate.
“His front shoulder has been flying open,” Collins said, “and he’s not driving the ball to right field, like he’s done so well in the past. That could be a result of what he went through (with the shoulder).”
Wright continues his dominance against lefty pitching, but has seen his average fall to .232 vs. righthanders this season with a very uncharacteristic .630 OPS.
“He’s more vulnerable on pitches away this year,” an NL scout said. “He used to let the ball get deep and drive it to right. This year he’s pulling off fastballs away and he’s chasing sliders off the plate.”
Perhaps things are coming around for Wright who says that he has felt better at the plate the last few days.