Team will strategize ways to get All-Star third baseman periodic days off
MIAMI -- With his team's offense struggling and his neck still somewhat stiff, David Wright approached Mets manager Terry Collins on Tuesday to say, "Look, I've got to be in the game." And so he was. But Collins said he might be careful about using Wright again on Wednesday, two days after his stiff neck sidelined him in Monday's series opener.
Wright nixed that idea, too, batting third and playing third base against the Marlins.
Still, it raises the discussion of how often Wright can play and still be effective. Because he appeared as a pinch-hitter Monday, Wright kept pace with second baseman Daniel Murphy and shortstop Ruben Tejada as the only Mets to play in all 26 games this season.
Collins said the goal for a player such as Wright is to appear in at least 150 games per season -- something he has been unable to do just twice over the first eight full years of his career.
"That's kind of where David's always been at," Collins said. "You go into Spring Training and you always say, 'Geez, if I could get 150 games out of my starters, we should be pretty good.' So you look at that, and knowing that there's sporadic days off coinciding with the scheduled days off, that should keep them healthy."
Finding the right spots for those days can sometimes prove difficult, considering the third baseman's constant desire to play. But Collins said Wright begrudgingly understands when he needs a rest, and he works with his manager to choose an appropriate day.
His willingness to play through injury, meanwhile, can rub off on other players, who may be more willing than Wright to ask out of the lineup with minor maladies.
"He's a warrior," Collins said. "And when you're sitting in his chair, he's a guy people look at and they watch. They know that he's important."