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Thursday, March 6, 2014
Wright ready for Grapefruit play

By Adam Rubin

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- After facing Bartolo Colon, Jonathon Niese and Bobby Parnell in a controlled intrasquad game Thursday morning, David Wright affirmed he is set to make his 2014 Grapefruit League debut on Friday at Tradition Field against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Terry Collins had held Daniel Murphy and Wright out of the first week of exhibition games to attempt to minimize the risk of injury. Both have been beset by side-muscle injuries in camp in recent years. Murphy also is expected to face the Cards in his first official exhibition appearance.

"Spring training is so long. It's really for the pitchers' benefit, to get them stretched out," Wright said. "Terry approached me even during the offseason and kind of told me, 'Don't be surprised if in spring training I slow you down a little bit and push you back.

"I felt like I got good work in. I felt I'm a lot more prepared now than I have been in recent spring trainings to enter games, and I think I'll get a little more out of it. As I've mentioned before, I wouldn't be able to get the [pregame preparation] work in if I were playing in the games. I faced some of the minor-league pitchers this past week. I faced Bobby a few times. And then on top of that I get a chance to go work on things that I think are beneficial to me.

"The last couple of years I've had the abdominal/oblique injuries. So to kind of slow it up this year, to kind of take those baby steps before ramping it up, I think helps me out. On top of that, I've really missed, I think, three-quarters of spring training the last two years, and I've felt like I've been prepared to start the season."