David Wright’s next step toward getting back on the field will come off the field.
After two rounds of live batting practice Tuesday afternoon at Citi Field, Wright said he will see how he feels Wednesday morning — always a question for him, he cautioned — and discuss a “game plan” with Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon by Thursday.
Wright pointed out that he met his and the team's goal for him this homestand by completing two simulated games, albeit without defensive drills Tuesday due to a wet infield.
“We’ll see where the conversation takes us and hopefully work something out,” Wright said. “Part of the conversation that Jeff and I are going to have [is about] what is expected. They certainly know where I stand, and coming into this week, the goal was to simulate games. I didn’t get a chance to play defense, but that wasn’t because of anything I could control.”
Double-A righthander Justin Dunn and high Class A lefthander David Peterson, both first-round draft picks, pitched through a light rain to Wright, who still struggled with his timing, but said he felt better toward the end. Onlookers included Wilpon, special assistant to the general manager Omar Minaya, several other front-office executives, and a cadre of Mets players, minor-leaguers and field-staff members.
“I’m really excited and I’m really satisfied with how these two simulated games went,” Wright said. “I want to put better swings on the ball, I want to swing at better pitches. That’s what I think I’m really doing well — taking some balls, swinging at strikes. Now it’s just a matter of not only putting the ball in play, but putting the ball in play with some authority.”
Said manager Mickey Callaway: “I wouldn’t say progress. It’s tough to get a ton done, because the field was still a little wet, so we didn’t get to see ground balls. He got more at-bats off of live pitching and more chances to get his timing right.”
Further simulated games will be more difficult, because the Mets embark on a 10-day road trip starting Friday, but Wright and Callaway were hopeful of working something out in those ballparks.
For now, Wright’s focus is on this month. He has resisted discussing 2019.
“My short-term goal is to get back on the field,” Wright said. “And I think that’s within reach.”
Home-plate umpire Dan Bellino ejected Todd Frazier after the sixth inning for arguing two called strikes that appeared to be off the plate.
“I didn't even need to go back and look. But afterward I did, I was right,” Frazier said. “It's just frustrating when you're right and you get thrown out, anyway.
“I really don't know what else to say besides if I'm right, I'm going to get my money's worth and I was. So bottom line is he missed a basic three calls on me and a couple during the game that were key, especially in a close game and our guy [Jacob deGrom] is fighting to get as many wins as he can in the race that he's in, so I'm going to get heated.”
As is their tradition on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Mets wore first responder hats during a pregame ceremony that included more than 100 uniformed representatives of first-responder agencies and children whose parents and grandparents have battled 9/11-related illnesses . . . Juan Lagares, who had season-ending foot surgery in May, said he plans to play in the Dominican Winter League. Doctors gave him a six-month rehabilitation timetable at the time of surgery, he said, which puts him on track for an on-field return around late November. Lagares said he expects to be at full strength for spring training ... Anthony Swarzak made his first appearance since returning from the disabled list Saturday, allowing one run (JT Riddle homer) in one inning.
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