The hits keep on coming, just not always the way the Mets want them to.
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Hours after the team discovered that Neil Walker would sit at least one more game than expected, the Mets were forced to scratch Juan Lagares from the lineup because of the left thumb injury he sustained diving for a ball on June 4.
The centerfielder previously had been diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in the finger, but hoped to play through it. Wednesday would have been his first start since getting hurt, but Lagares said he began to feel more pain than usual 20 minutes after batting practice and could not squeeze his glove. He is planning to see a doctor Thursday.
“I want to make sure,” he said after the game, noting the pain had subsided. “I don’t know (what’s going on).”
The Mets announced the change about an hour before game time. Yoenis Cespedes moved from left to center, while Kelly Johnson played left and was inserted into the five spot.
Earlier in the day, the team discovered that Walker, who they hoped would be available Thursday, would be unavailable. “It just didn’t get that much better,” Collins said. “He woke up this morning, sent a text that said ‘No way I can play today.’ ” Walker, who hasn’t played since leaving the game Saturday, saw doctors Wednesday and Collins said he believed he underwent an MRI. Collins said after the game he’s hopeful that Walker will return Thursday.
He’s the fourth Met to miss time with back problems this year, joining Lucas Duda, Asdrubal Cabrera and David Wright, and the trend might lead to changes.
Back problems have “been a concern because we’ve had a rash of them,” Collins said. “We’ve got to re-evaluate how we’re stretching, how we’re loosening up and it’s a continuing learning process. We’ve got the doctors involved to see what we can do. Certainly we have an outstanding training staff and conditioning staff, but we’ve got to revisit what’s going on. When you’ve got a bad back, it’s not just one day . . . it could be a period of time, so we’ve got to take a look at it.”
Wright in limbo
David Wright is growing increasingly frustrated with his uncertain future, Collins said, and hopes to have a decision about the fate of his neck — and his season, even his career — soon. Wright, already suffering from spinal stenosis, has a herniated disc in his neck that could require season-ending surgery. He is in California visiting with doctors. “He wants it resolved,” Collins said. “He wants to move forward and whatever it has to be, he’s ready for it. That’s why I’m sure he’s looking forward to this decision that’s going to come down from the doctors in California . . . His frustration is getting to the point where [he wants to] make a decision.”