Mets want Wright back as full player, not symbol

Third baseman will face Swarzak in first of several simulated games Saturday

September 7th, 2018

NEW YORK -- Although has joined the Mets for the month of September, his return to the big leagues may take longer than expected. Mets assistant general manager John Ricco discussed the plan for Wright moving forward on Friday before the game against the Phillies.

On Wednesday, the Mets announced that Wright would take part in a simulated game on Saturday. The simulated game will likely be one of many in Wright's continuing rehab process. The organization looks at this as a creative solution for keeping Wright up with the team and progressing in his recovery now that the Minor League season has ended.

"We ran out of Minor League games before he was ready," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "This is really continuing his rehab and trying to get him to a place where he can go out there and be ready to play."

Mets reliever will pitch the simulated game. Swarzak is in a similar situation to Wright, as he played one rehab game with Class A Short-Season Brooklyn before its season ended. If all goes well Saturday, Swarzak should be activated following the simulated game.

Ricco did not seem optimistic that Wright would return this season, but he urged that the Mets want the third basemen to be back to his full potential, not just as a pinch-hitter or to be put in for a ceremonial inning.

"He had the better part of the summer to get to the point where he could come back and play in games," Ricco said. "Well he did that, obviously not to the level that we talked about. But now, just honestly, it does get more difficult to foresee a situation where he can come back to that level."

When asked how much of a factor the insurance policy on Wright's salary was on the third baseman's return, Ricco responded that he was unaware of the conversations with the insurance company, but the focus has been on getting Wright back as a full-time player.

"I think really where we've been all along is, it's been a health thing," Ricco said. "He's been out for two years, and [we're] just making sure that when he comes back he's able to physically take the field and perform. So that's really where my mind has been."

The Mets plan to put Wright through several simulated games that will prepare him for playing at Major League game speed. They plan to observe the fundamentals and see how Wright progresses.

"He's going to get probably six at-bats," Callaway said. "We're going to put him out in the field and hit some live fungos to him and flip fungos where he's got to read the ball off the bat, turn two, throw to first. So we're going to put him through the grinder a little bit. We're going to see exactly where he's at -- and more importantly the next day see how he recovers."