Wright's throwing woes may be due to shoulder pain

Collins suspects third baseman is compensating for back condition

May 12th, 2016

LOS ANGELES -- David Wright's habit of making extreme sidearm throws from third base has become noticeable enough that Mets manager Terry Collins is blaming a sore right shoulder.

Wright, who is notorious for playing through injuries and avoiding talk of them, said Tuesday night that he felt healthy. But that declaration came after Wright lacked zip on multiple throws in a 3-2 loss to the Dodgers, most notably recording just one out on a potential double-play ball hit to him in the eighth. He has committed three throwing errors this season.

"I think he's probably got a little bit of a sore arm, but that's probably all right now," Collins said. "He's had to make some adjustments because of his lower back. Certainly last year, at the time when he came back, he talked about, during his rehab, how they really forced him to use his legs more, so that's something we've got to make sure we work on."

In Wright's first full year since being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, his challenges have included a pregame routine that takes approximately three hours per day, and a disjointed schedule forcing him to sit roughly one out of every four or five games. Only once this season has Wright played in a night and day game consecutively; he had a planned day off Wednesday with the Mets facing the only right-handed starter they will see in Los Angeles.

Such rest has helped the 33-year-old Wright stay on the field, even if his Gold Glove days appear behind him. Though advanced defensive metrics are unreliable in small samples, Wright entered Wednesday's play last in the National League with -8 Defensive Runs Saved, a catch-all statistic designed to quantify a player's value.

Still, if Collins is concerned with Wright's throwing, the third baseman is not, saying his sidearm throws are "what I've always done and what I'll continue to do."

"We're certainly hoping that … as he get into the summer and he throws more and more, we're hoping that he comes around [defensively]," Collins said.