David Wright went 0-for-4 in yesterday’s finale against the Athletics, and is just 1-for-17 in his last five games while batting .268 this season.
In an interview with the Rockland Times, Wright said:
“No one is happy with the position we are in” and the team has missed opportunities to win games they should have won, but the team has young players “learning on the job…and that’s the best way to learn.”
Sandy Alderson addressed Wright’s current slump and his overall decline this season, in an interview with flagship stadium WOR.
“First of all, no player is ever going to be at the top of his game consistently throughout a season, or over ‘X’ number of seasons. And part of dealing with the adversity is how it’s handled. David handles it very well. We certainly recognize this is a collective thing.”
Alderson is inferring that the problem is not Wright, but rather the team-wide effect which he believes is impacting Wright’s numbers.
“It’s been pretty much across the board, starting with the top of our lineup all the way through. When you only get three or four hits a night, there’s a collective issue. We’ve got some young players in the lineup who we’ve got to give some time, but I think it’s been a collective thing. I do believe that offensively we will get better. The question is how much better.”
Yes that is the question. It’s been the question for six years now.
David Wright is mired in another slump as his career worst season continues. The Mets Captain insists it’s not his shoulder.
“The shoulder is not an excuse. Again, when I go tell the manager that I’m good to play, I expect to produce. I’m not thinking about the shoulder. I’m not thinking about bad habits. I’m thinking about going out there and trying to excel and doing what I’m capable of doing, that I’ve proven I can do. When I don’t do that, I’m as frustrated as anybody.”
Wright returned to the lineup on Monday after sitting out a day with a sore shoulder and went 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 12 at-bats. Worse yet, were the resounding boos Wright heard in the ninth as he headed back to the dugout.
“If I’m in the lineup, I expect to produce to a certain standard,” he said. “When I don’t, it’s frustrating.”
You can almost read the tension in every at-bat this season for Wright. Gone is that confident swagger he took to the plate, and in its place is a player searching for answers, swimming in doubt, and fighting to rediscover his former self.
Wright will turn 32 in December and he clearly is in the decline phase of his career. But there seems to be more going on here than just a gradual and typical decline. I am concerned that there’s more to his sore shoulder than he’s letting on. He’s altered his whole approach, has made several mechanical adjustments to his swing, and just last week he admitted that he can’t remember what it feels like to be in a good hitting groove.
I do believe that batting third is also adding undue pressure at a time when he’s battling the burden of a huge contract, playing through various injuries, aches and pains, while also coming to the realization that his skills are now declining.
As the Mets wrap up the final 35 games of what will be a sixth straight losing season, Wright will have all Winter to rest up and hopefully show up next Spring with the confidence we’ve come to expect from him, but more importantly the player the team needs him to be – and that is a reliable top-flight run producer in the middle of the lineup.
Additionally, Wright’s not getting any younger and even he understands that it’s time for Sandy Alderson to deliver on his promise of a better future.
“This offseason is going to be an important one,” Wright told the Daily News. “Because we have gotten to the point where I do think that we’re talking about a piece or two away from being a really, really good team.”
Of course the one or two pieces Wright speaks of will have to be difference makers, and that requires either a huge outlay of money or surrendering some top prospects, neither of which I believe the front office is prepared to do.