Friday, September 13, 2013
Pregame notes: Wright does infield work
By Matt Ehalt
NEW YORK -- David Wright did more side-to-side work in the infield and fielded slow-hit grounders before Friday's game against the Marlins, according to Mets manager Terry Collins.
Collins said Wright will do some more base-running on Saturday before the doubleheader against Miami. "It's great," Collins said. "He looks great."
Wright has been sidelined since Aug. 2 with a strained right hamstring, and ran the bases for the first time on Wednesday. Running the bases had been the only baseball activity Wright had not done yet.
The third baseman has been adamant about wanting to return this season, and he could be back with the Mets by the middle of next week. Wright has played in just 105 games this season, and is hitting .309 with 16 home runs and 54 RBIs. The team sorely misses his bat in the middle of the lineup, especially after trading Marlon Byrd to the Pirates and losing Ike Davis to a strained oblique.
"I don't think the clock is going to run out," Wright said Monday. "I think I'll be back at least for a larger chunk of the remainder of the games. That's kind of the goal, and I haven't really even thought about not playing those."
TURNER NOT LIKELY VS. FISH: Injured utility player Justin Turner (hamstring) will probably not play this weekend against the Marlins, according to Collins. Turner suffered a small strain of his right hamstring Tuesday against the Nationals. He's hitting .345 in September.
"When he hurt it, it was going to be seven to 10 days. We're still in that seven-day period," Collins said. "Is he feeling better? Probably. Still going to be a few more days before he starts doing anything."
PRAISE FOR MURPHY: Collins praised second baseman Daniel Murphy for staying in the lineup down the stretch while battling nagging issues. Friday's game will be Murphy's 145th of the season, and he could play in 161 of the team's 162 games this year. He will bat third against the Marlins.
"Make no mistake, Dan's beat up," Collins said. "He plays so hard, he's always beat up. He slides hard, he dives for balls. That takes its toll on the season. He comes to the ballpark, he wants in the lineup. He never asks for a day off. That sends a huge message to all those young players.
"He's been our man of steel for sure."
Collins also credited Murphy for being a presence in the lineup while the big bats around him have been sidelined or traded away. Murphy is hitting .313 in his last 28 games, and is batting .281 with 10 homers and a career-best 68 RBIs on the season. He also has a career-high 18 stolen bases.
"Dan has been the backbone ever since David went out," Collins said. "He's the one guy that teams know is a professional hitter. To everybody in every club he's the dangerous guy in our lineup. And we needed that. We need to be able to lean on that type of guy."