WASHINGTON — David Wright moved closer to his goal of playing for the Mets before season’s end. For the second straight day, he played third base during his rehab assignment with Class-A Port St. Lucie.
“I think it’s a huge sign,” Mets manager Terry Collins said before Wright’s game. “I think it’s a big sign that he’s able to come back tonight and play.”
Wright finished 0-for-3 with a pair of groundouts and a strikeout. In five innings in the field, he had two assists, another step forward as he works to get past the throwing issues that forced him to stop his rehab in spring training.
Wright also leaped at a high chopper that easily went over his head.
In the box score, it was a modest outing for Wright, though it took on greater dimension. With a body ravaged by spinal stenosis, and the fallout from last year’s neck surgery, Collins said durability remains a question.
“I just hope he’s able to keep playing,” said Collins, who did not offer a timeline for a return. “That’s the key for me. I think he’s such a talented guy, if he can continue to play and continue to progress, I think he’ll be able to dictate to us if he’s ready.”
Wright last played in a big-league game last May. Since then, his game action has been limited to a few appearances in spring training and now his current rehab. Even aside from proving physically ready, he must get up to speed after a long absence.
“It’s all about how much action you can get,” Collins said. “I think it’s difficult to do, but he’s a special player. For a common guy, probably they’re going to need maybe more than he’s going to need. I’ve never been through anything like this before. He’ll dictate all that stuff.”
The Mets have left open the possibility of Wright rejoining the team even if he’s limited defensively.
“What’s he had, 50 at-bats in a year and a half?” Collins said. “So he needs to get some at-bats, and if he starts to swing like he feels he’s comfortable, I think the defensive side will probably take care of itself.”
Michael Conforto will be examined by doctors on Monday, though he’s also likely to seek a second opinion. The outfielder dislocated his left shoulder and tore his capsule on Thursday, an injury that may require surgery . . . For the first time since suffering a partial tear in his lat in April, righthander Noah Syndergaard threw live batting practice at the team’s complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He moved one step closer to beginning a rehab assignment . . . Seth Lugo will be activated from the disabled list to start the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader. The righthander hasn’t pitched since Aug. 11 with what the club is calling a shoulder impingement . . . Jose Reyes (sore left ribcage) was activated from the disabled list while Yoenis Cespedes was officially added . . . Outfielder Travis Taijeron went 0-for-4 in his big-league debut. He was promoted after Cespedes’ injury . . . Reliever Kevin McGowan was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas, though he’ll rejoin the roster as the 26th man for Sunday’s doubleheader.
— With Paul Ivice in Port St. Lucie, Florida