Wright aims to return after DL stint
Mets slugger sure he's not finished for the season
NEW YORK -- David Wright was back at Citi Field on Monday, two days after being hit in the head with a pitch from Matt Cain.
Wright suffered a concussion in Saturday's 5-4 loss to the Giants when Cain's 0-2 four-seam fastball beaned Wright in the left temple. The third baseman was placed on the disabled list Sunday.
"I feel good," Wright said. "It feels like it's getting better."
Wright said he has not felt some of the usual post-concussion symptoms such as nausea or sensitivity to light and loud noises. He has had to deal only with a bad headache.
Wright had hoped to avoid being shelved for the first time in his career, admitting it was a goal of his to stay off the DL. In a season of injury woes and one year after the team was criticized for mishandling former outfielder Ryan Church's concussion, the Mets are taking the cautious route.
"I really wanted to see if I can go out there and play. I pressed Omar [Minaya] and Jeff [Wilpon] to give me a chance," Wright said. "They were not going to allow it, and the doctors overruled me."
The blow to the head came 10 days after Wright had been brushed back by Cardinals reliever Brad Thompson on a pitch the Mets believed was intentional. So did Major League Baseball, which suspended Thompson for three games.
Wright talked that night of how scary it is when a pitch comes that close to a hitter's head. Unfortunately, he got to experience the full brunt of it on Saturday.
"The scary part was knowing it was going to hit me. It was just seeing it coming at my head and knowing I couldn't get out of the way," said Wright, who added he doesn't believe he lost consciousness on the field.
Wright said he had received calls and texts from Cain and Giants catcher Bengie Molina, adding that he didn't think Cain's pitch was intentional in any way.
Later, Wright and Cain ran into each other, and Wright accepted Cain's regret over the situation.
"He said, 'I understand it was an accident,' " Cain said.
Wright also spoke to Church, who was traded to the Braves in July, about post-concussion symptoms. Church suffered two concussions early last season and missed the better part of three months of the season. The Mets were criticized for not taking Church's injury seriously enough, allowing him to fly to Colorado two days after he suffered his second concussion and for inserting him back into the starting lineup twice before he was ultimately ready to return.
"You can learn some things from previous incidents -- you understand with Ryan," Wright said, adding that he had not experienced some of the same symptoms Church had. "It's on a day-to-day basis; there's no set program. You just have to be honest with the doctors."
While over the weekend manager Jerry Manuel didn't dismiss the possibility that Wright could miss the rest of the season, the third baseman was adamant in stating that he plans on returning to the lineup as soon as he is eligible on Aug. 31.
"I'm sure that I'll be able to play again this year," Wright said.
Even though he is on the DL, he was dressed in his normal practice gear before Monday's series finale with the Giants.
"This is what I do when I come to the field," Wright said. "I'm going to come here every day and root these guys on."
Although Wright said he was not sure how he'd respond the first time he steps back into the batter's box, he's not worried about feeling uncomfortable.
"I don't plan on being gun-shy," Wright said. "I've never had a problem getting back in there."
Wright had been the last member of the Mets' everyday core to avoid the DL this season. Carlos Delgado underwent right hip surgery in May, Jose Reyes has been out since late May with a torn right hamstring and Carlos Beltran has missed the past seven weeks with a bone bruise in his right knee.
The injuries are one of the main reasons the Mets have fallen short of expectations, limping to a 55-62 mark entering Monday night. On the season, Wright is fourth in the National League with a .324 average to go along with eight home runs and 55 RBIs.
Since being called up in July 2004, Wright has missed only 16 games in his career before Saturday, and five of them came when the team had all but wrapped up a division title in September 2006. Monday night is the fourth game this season in which Wright was not in the starting lineup. The Mets are 1-2 in the previous three contests.
The Mets called up 32-year-old infielder Andy Green from Triple-A Buffalo to take Wright's spot on the roster. Fernando Tatis is expected to get the bulk of the playing time at third base in Wright's absence.
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.