NEW YORK -- David Wright will not blame a balky left shoulder for his subpar offensive numbers.
“If I’m in the lineup I expect to produce to a certain standard,” Wright said Monday, after going 0-for-4 in his return after missing Sunday’s game. “When I don’t produce to that standard, it’s frustrating.”
New York Mets
Wright initially injured the shoulder on June 12 while sliding headfirst on a muddy surface at Citi Field. He exacerbated it in Pittsburgh at the end of that month, missed a week, then had a cortisone shot heading into the All-Star break.
Wright then was struck in the troublesome spot with an 88 mph fastball from Cubs starter Dan Straily in the sixth inning on Saturday. He missed the following day’s game, but took batting practice Monday morning and talked his way into the lineup for the matinee.
“The way that I’ve progressed, I feel good,” Wright said. “I wanted to come to the ballpark today with the mindset of trying to give it a shot. Everything worked out pretty well. I got the treatment, tested it and felt good.”
Said managerTerry Collins: "I had a real long talk with him this morning to make sure he understands the importance that we can't aggravate it. It's a bruise. It's not anything that's structural, or where it was before. It's just a bruise. He said he's fine to swing. He said, 'If I injure it, I'll tell you.'"
Wright is hitting .224 (26-for-116) with only two extra-base hits -- both doubles -- in 30 starts since the All-Star break.
“The shoulder is not an excuse,” Wright insisted. “Again, when I go tell the manager that I’m good to play, I expect to produce. I’m not thinking about the shoulder. I’m not thinking about bad habits. I’m thinking about going out there and trying to excel and doing what I’m capable of doing, that I’ve proven I can do. When I don’t do that, I’m as frustrated as anybody.
“I hold myself to a very high standard. I feel like I’ve set a high standard for myself. When I don’t reach that standard, obviously I’m disappointed. There’s no sense in whining and moaning about it now. I’ve got however many weeks to get it going a little bit and hopefully finish strong and let that carry over into the offseason.”
Postgame Monday, one reporter bluntly told Wright that some people hope he is concealing the severity of his injury, because the alternative is that the 31-year-old’s skills are beginning to diminish.
Wright did acknowledge that his rehab has involved strengthening muscles around the area that troubles him -- or that doesn’t really affect him, as he also maintains.
Wright added that a lack of success has led him to tinker too much this season.
“I think that you don’t get the results that you want, all of a sudden you start messing with some things,” Wright said. “It becomes that grind and that search that you always hear people talk about.”
He dismissed any suggestion the shoulder is adversity he is trying to overcome.
“When I think of adversity, I don’t think of playing baseball,” he said. “I think of adversity in real life. Not getting some hits, to me, is not adversity. You go up there and expect to succeed. And when you don’t succeed the way you’re accustomed to or expect to, there’s disappointment in that. As far as trying to make this overcoming obstacles or things like that, I don’t look at it like that.”