Wright takes next journey of rehab to Las Vegas

August 28th, 2018

CHICAGO -- Following a two-day hiatus in his rehab from back, neck and shoulder injuries, reported to Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday, moving within one step of a return to the big leagues.

While technically a promotion, however, the shift from Class A St. Lucie to Las Vegas does not necessarily mean Wright will take the final leap to the Mets this season. Assistant general manager John Ricco said in plain terms Tuesday that Wright has not done enough "quantitatively or qualitatively" to merit a return to the Majors at this point.

"It's unrealistic to think that he would be activated anytime soon based on what we've seen to this point," Ricco said.

In 10 rehab games for Class A St. Lucie, Wright hit .188 with a .454 OPS. He demonstrated marked improvement over his final five games there, going 6-for-18 with a double and no strikeouts, but he was unable to meet a benchmark of playing in three consecutive days.

While Wright potentially could have benefited from more time at St. Lucie, the Mets wanted to see him face more advanced pitching at Las Vegas before the 51s' season ends on Monday.

"Right now, we're focused on let's see how he finishes up here in the last few days," Ricco said, "and we'll have some more discussions about the specifics of what the rest of the year looks like."

That could mean a return to the Majors once the Minor League season ends. It could mean continued work in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where Wright has spent much of this summer with the Mets' rehab staff. Or it could mean a return to New York, rehabbing there while remaining on the disabled list. One problem is that if Wright is not ready to play in the Majors when the Minor League season ends, it will be difficult for him to receive the game-speed reps he needs to continue improving.

"We're just trying to focus on the next day with David," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "It's been such a long road, and I think it'd be unfair to everyone to have any kind of expectations other that knowing that we support whatever he's doing day to day."

The greater question remains how Wright's body will hold up as he attempts to appear in a big league game for the first time since May 2016. When asked what specifically Wright must improve upon before he is ready for a big league promotion, Ricco responded: "It's pretty much everything."

"He's been out for two years," Ricco said. "That's a long time to be down and to try to come back. To be a Major League player takes a lot, physically. So we tried to put in place a program that he could come back and show us that he's ready to be a Major League player. So far, he just hasn't reached that, whether it's in terms of the playing time or the playing skill. It's kind of an all of the above at this point."

For now, the Mets will spend the next week evaluating Wright's progress at Las Vegas, where he was batting cleanup Tuesday and starting at third base. When asked earlier this week about the team's expectations for a September callup, Callaway admitted, "I can't say that I expect it either way."