NEW YORK (AP) — David Wright is back in the New York Mets’ lineup after missing seven games with an injured left shoulder.
Wright tested his shoulder in drills on the field before Saturday night’s game against Texas. The star third baseman had targeted Friday for his return, but rain prevented him from going through a full workout outside, so the Mets decided to hold out their captain for another day.
“The big thing today was going side to side with the groundballs, reaching, having to extend yourself,” Wright said. “I know it’s still kind of limited as far as game-type speed, but it’s the best you can do to try to simulate it and it went well.”
New York went 2-5 in Wright’s absence, though rookie Eric Campbell did an excellent job filling in. Campbell batted .464 (13 for 28) while subbing for Wright and was hitting .340 in 94 at-bats overall.
Campbell was back on the bench Saturday, with Wright in his customary No. 3 spot in the lineup against Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis.
Wright wouldn’t say whether he’s 100 percent, but said his bruised rotator cuff is “definitely much better.”
“I feel encouraged by the results in a relatively short amount of time,” he explained. “It was really bothering me about a week ago. Like I said, the progression has been very, very good.”
Wright said he appreciates the team playing a man short for a week rather than putting him on the disabled list.
His main concern now is getting back up to game speed.
“Once you get out there, you’ll really realize what you’ve missed the last week,” he said.
The seven-time All-Star began feeling pain in his shoulder after sliding headfirst to steal a base June 12 against Milwaukee. His shoulder nagged him for a couple of weeks before he was scratched from the lineup June 27 in Pittsburgh.
Wright went back to New York for an MRI and treatment while the Mets completed their road trip.
“The plan seems to be working,” he said.
Wright said he’s been trying for a few years to stop sliding headfirst and he needs to do a better job of that in the future.
Riding a 10-game hitting streak, Wright was batting .277 with six homers and 41 RBIs in a down season so far by his standards.
“I’d like to think that I make a positive impact on the team,” he said. “I know it’s been somewhat of a roller-coaster ride this year as far as us in general offensively and me in particular personally, having some ups and downs, so hopefully I can come in and help produce.”