All signs point to David Wright being ready for opener
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With Opening Day looming less than a week away, the Mets might need every minute until first pitch to piece together the lineup that will take the field that afternoon at Citi Field. But if David Wright continues on his current path, they might not have to worry about who's at third.
Wright offered two encouraging signs Monday about his status for Opening Day. First, a day after taking batting-practice swings for the first time since the World Baseball Classic, he arrived at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie with no issues. Then he took the field for his second straight day of batting practice.
He also fielded grounders at third base for the third consecutive day.
"Feel good,'' said Wright, who worked out while the Mets traveled to Lake Buena Vista, where they beat the Braves, 7-4. "Same routine as yesterday.''
Despite his workload, Wright reported no problems with his strained left intercostal muscle, which at one point required a cortisone injection. With the Mets having been bombarded by injuries, Wright's progress is a welcome development.
Manager Terry Collins said last week that Wright could be ready for game action by the middle of this week. Wright believes he can be ready for Opening Day on Monday, even with limited at-bats, because he already has played full games at the WBC.
Wright hit .438 and drove in 10 runs in four tournament games despite playing through his injury. Before leaving to join Team USA, he was hitting .333 in four Grapefruit League games.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy hopes to join Wright in the Opening Day lineup, though his lack of game action during Grapefruit League play makes him a longer shot to do so.
Nevertheless, Murphy made progress Monday. The projected starting second baseman finished 0-for-5 in a Triple-A game against the Marlins. He also played seven innings in the field.
Until Sunday, Murphy hadn't swung a bat in a game. But when he reported to camp Monday morning, Murphy said he experienced no problems in his right intercostal muscle, which he strained in the earliest days of spring training.
After suffering a setback this month, Murphy said he wants to take his rehab day by day, though he remains hopeful about being ready for Opening Day.
Said Murphy: "I would like to be there."