With respect to Cespedes, we discovered not only did the team let him play in a Spring Training game with full knowledge of his having an injured wrist, but the team withheld from manager Mickey Callaway information regarding Cespedes receiving an x-ray.
Sadly, we were informed about Wright’s latest setback in his attempts to play baseball for the first time in over a year. Essentially, we have discovered Wright’s spirit is willing but his body is weak. The Captain is going back to the drawing board, and he hopes to continue his comeback again in May.
Considering how both medical updates were provided on the same day, you can’t help but wonder if there is any link between the two.
As noted in Ken Davidoff’s scathing New York Post article, Jeff Wilpon has become overly involved in team medical decisions, including but not limited to, how those injuries are publicized.
During the time in which the Wilpons have wrestled away ownership of the Mets away from Nelson Doubleday, we have time and again seen the team handles injuries. You can pick your favorite example whether it was Ryan Church flying with a concussion, or even last year with Noah Syndergaard being sent to the mound without having an MRI. Who knows what other medical decisions the Wilpons have impacted.
That brings us back to Wright. There may have been many warning signs, but the first real back injury he had was in 2011.
For those who forgot, in an April 19th game, Wright lunged to tag out Carlos Lee. The most important position player in franchise history would feel back pain, and he would play the next 22 games while sitting just one game. During that stretch, he hit a very un-Wright like .215.
Wright would finally undergo the MRI, and the stress fracture in his back was discovered. He would miss the next 58 games.
From there, Wright would only have one season where he played at least 135 games. His last true Wright year was in 2013 when he had a 5.4 WAR in just 112 games played. As Mets fans, we know the rest.
What we don’t know is if the Mets had handled that first injury or really any of Wright’s injuries properly would Wright be able to play games now? Was the spinal stenosis present in 2011 or earlier? Did an organizational culture of having players play through injuries, avoiding the disabled list, and rushing players back take an undue toll on Wright’s back?
Really, we don’t know the answer to these questions, and really, we will never know. However, given how this team is mishandling a Cespedes injury in Spring Training, these questions need to be asked. More importantly, answers need to be discovered sooner rather than later, especially with Michael Conforto ramping up his baseball activities ahead of schedule.