New York Mets' David Wright smiles as he warms up on the field a day before they host the National League Wild-Card game against the San Francisco Giants in the MLB playoffs at Citi Field in New York City on October 4, 2016. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 7 (UPI) -- He has played in just 75 games in the last two seasons, but New York Mets fans are optimistic that its captain can return to glory.
Third baseman David Wright took part in a limited workout for the Mets Monday. He fielded ground balls and did some light running in the 10-minute session in Port St. Lucie. The seven-time All-Star didn't do any overhand throwing.
Wright smoothly charged and corralled ground balls from the hot corner, but then flipped them to a trainer instead of tossing them himself.
"It was great to see,'' catcher Travis d'Arnaud told the New York Post. "Any time you get to share the field with him, it's great. He plays so hard and he has devoted his whole life to New York. He's such an awesome person and it's so great to see him back out there doing what he loves.''
Wright, 34, is due $20 million this season and is signed through 2020. He hit .226 with seven home runs and 14 RBI in 37 games last season before opting for cervical discectomy and fusion surgery for a herniated disc and spinal stenosis. He was removed from the team's 60-day disabled list in November. Wright has been hitting in a batting cage since Christmas. He began simulated baseball activities in mid-December.
His June 16 surgery was just the latest chapter in his battle with nagging back, leg, and neck injuries. He is expected to take part in minor league games in Port St. Lucie for extra work.
Wright's stenosis forced him into a daily two-hour session of physical therapy just to play, according to the New York Daily News.
"We won't know until we get down [to Florida] and he shows up and tells us where he's at," manager Terry Collins said of Wright last month, via Mets.com. "David knows himself better than anybody, so if he feels he's ready to play games or, you know, when he's ready to get in the lineup, we're going to get him in there, because I think it's important this spring to get him extra at-bats."
"I don't think you're going to see eight in a row or nine in a row," Collins told the team website, "but I think David will be in that lineup a lot."
If Wright has another shortened season, the Mets could have Jose Reyes cover third base. Reyes transferred there from shortstop last season and played 50 games at the hot corner. Wilmer Flores is also considered a substitute for the position.
"I need to take a lot of ground balls at third base, and I need to get a lot of at-bats,'' Wright told the Post last month.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in December that Wright will be the team's starting third baseman in 2017. He has $67 million left on his contract.