David Wright Week begins on Tuesday night at Citi Field.
The Mets captain will be activated off the disabled list before Tuesday’s game against the Braves for the first time since his last big-league appearance on May 27, 2016.
Manager Mickey Callaway said on Sunday he is planning to use Wright as a pinch hitter at least once before Wright’s farewell game on Saturday night vs. Miami. Wright is scheduled to start at third base on Saturday at a sold-out Citi Field in his final appearance in the only big-league uniform he’s ever worn.
Wright has declined to speak about his return since a news conference on Sept. 13. But Mets teammates who have played with him before and those who haven’t are as excited as little kids to take the field with No. 5.
“It’s going to be great,” Michael Conforto said. “I’m excited to see the reception that he’s going to get from the fans. I’m sure it’ll be very emotional for him. I’m excited just to see everything, just the whole situation. I hope it’s everything he deserves. As far as us, we’re really excited to have him out there with us, especially the guys who’ve played with him before.”
Conforto played with Wright during the Mets’ magical run to the World Series in 2015 and also at the start of the following season. There are some who think Conforto is the best candidate to assume the leadership void that Wright will be leaving when he hangs ’em up for good. But Conforto isn’t ready to take the baton just yet.
“When I thought of the Mets, I thought of David Wright,” Conforto said. “He was the first person to text me when I was drafted. So for me personally, it’ll be really special and I’m excited for him to finally get back out there and just soak it all in.”
Wright has made his mark on players who have never played in a big-league game with him, too. Dominic Smith said he is just hoping he’ll be in the lineup on Saturday to say he played one game with Wright.
“That would be so special to me,” Smith said. “I grew up a baseball fan and when I was younger he was one of the best players in the league. He was our captain for a long time and he holds a lot of Mets records, so just to play with him one time in my career, it would definitely be a special moment for me. It’ll definitely sit in a special place in my heart, for sure.
“I’m happy for him. I’m happy that he’s able to get out there and play again. I’m obviously very sad that this is going to be his last go-round, but I’m definitely excited to watch him get out there. I know he’s very eager. He’s worked incredibly hard for the last couple years. He’s rehabbed on a couple of my teams over the last two years in the minor leagues on his way to come back, so to finally see him get into a big-league lineup, I’ll be very, very happy for him.”
What if Callaway calls Smith back to the dugout before Saturday so Wright can pinch hit for him against a lefty?
“That’d be awesome,” Smith said. “If I can give him my at-bat, to let him hit and play again, I definitely will.”
The Mets’ current roster is filled with young players who have never played with Wright. Still, Smith said the youngsters throughout the organization know who Wright is and what he means to the team and its fans.
“Everybody knows who he is, no matter what level you are at,” Smith said. “When he walks through the door, you know what kind of player he was, the stuff that he accomplished in his career. You just kind of stare at him in awe sometimes. I know I definitely do. I can’t believe that he’s on my team.”