PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Mets hope third baseman David Wright will begin a light throwing program as early as Sunday, though there could be a complication in the plan.
Several weeks ago, Wright had an injection, part of the maintenance required to keep him on the field after last June’s neck surgery. He also has spinal stenosis, which was diagnosed in May 2015.
The injection typically requires some rest, which is part of the reason Wright has yet to begin throwing. “It’s either Sunday or Monday, but he’ll dictate that,” manager Terry Collins said. “He’s in constant contact with the doctors and trainers.”
Wright has not thrown a baseball since the surgery to repair a herniated disc that ended his 2016 season. The Mets have insisted that Wright is in the plans as the starting third baseman. However, that plan will hinge largely on his ability to make throws from third base.
As he does every season, Collins intends to address his team Sunday before the Mets take the field for the first full-squad workout of spring training.
But he doesn’t intend to alter the message he sent in the aftermath of last year’s wild-card loss to the Giants, an anticlimactic conclusion for a team that pushed through injuries down the stretch to make the playoffs.
“I’m going to open up with the same line [as] the last day of the season,” Collins said. “What they went through with the adversity we faced, and the perseverance, and the character in that clubhouse, they know they can do it. No other team can say that. There’s teams that won. But I’m not sure that anybody had to go through all the stuff, all the trying times that we did with all the pitching and all the other things that went down and still rose up when they needed to rise up. That’s got to speak volumes.”
Collins joked that nervous energy might prompt him to throw up before he addresses the team. Indeed, it’s not uncommon for his voice to be heard through the walls at the team complex.
“I was raised in this game [to believe] that tomorrow’s the biggest day of the year for the manager,’’ he said. “You set down your ideas and your policies that day, so for me, it’s making sure it’s said right with the same passion that I’ve always had, which it will.”
For the second straight day, Jeurys Familia worked out early, then quietly slipped out. A source said his absence was related to Major League Baseball’s investigation into his offseason arrest for domestic violence.
Collins said Familia will be excused from camp Sunday. He’s expected to remain with the club when he returns Monday.
For months, the Mets have planned on Familia being suspended at the start of the season, though it’s unclear how long he will be sidelined. Commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to announce Familia’s punishment during spring training. The Mets intend to use camp to prepare setup man Addison Reed to take on closing duties.
The Mets cut down on the pitchers’ throwing early in camp, and it seems to have paid off. Aside from Zack Wheeler, Collins said no pitcher has reported arm discomfort. Wheeler, who has been dealing with elbow soreness, is expected to throw Sunday.