Several media sources are reporting that David Wright may start the 2013 season on the disabled list. He suffered a muscle strain in his ribs while participating in the World Baseball Classic this week.
This is really a team’s worst nightmare about the WBC. The face of your franchise gets hurt in an exhibition away from the team and misses time during the regular season. I’m not a fan of the WBC anyway, but this makes me even less so.
Granted, and injury like this could happen anytime even if Wright was with the Mets. But I have to say that having the WBC games during spring training is the wrong time. Players generally aren’t ready to go all out in the beginning of March. They need more time to get ready and now the Mets are paying the price.
Everyone that bought opening day tickets expecting to see Wright looks like their out of luck this year. What a shame.
I had a chance to talk to Kerel Cooper from On The Black this weekend about the Mets 2013 spring training. We touched on Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, predictions for the season, and the World Baseball Classic.
Check out the video below and let me know in the comments what your predictions are for the season.
To nobody’s surprise, attendance at the New York Mets spring training games is down 15% so far this year. The NY Post reports that the team cites the economy and the loss of so many players to the World Baseball Classic as the main factors.
It’s a bad situation for the Mets and the town of Port St. Lucie, FL. Although the overall economy is beyond anybody’s control, the World Baseball Classic is controllable. Losing 16 Mets to the WBC is too much. And not just for spring training game attendance figures.
The Mets, and every team, need some time to gel together in March. Losing so many players could have a detrimental effect on the team. That’s yet to be seen but my guess is that the Mets feel the impact in April when the regular season gets rolling.
I’ve written before that the WBC shouldn’t be played in March, it should be in November when the MLB post-season ends. And each team should be able to designate at least one player that’s too valuable to participate such as Johan Santana in the Mets case.
We’ve got the list of the 15 New York Mets that’ll be playing for their countries in the World Baseball Classic. Most players will start leaving the Mets at the end of the week to begin working out with their teams next Monday. Here’s the list of Mets:
Major League Roster
Jose Reyes- Dominican Republic
Oliver Perez- Mexico
Pedro Feliciano, Alex Cora, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado- Puerto Rico
J.J. Putz, David Wright- United States
Francisco Rodriguez- Venezuela
Minor League Rosters
Stefan Welch- Australia
Shawn Bowman- Canada
Elmer Dessens- Mexico
Ruben Tejada- Panama
Nelson Figueroa, Jesus Feliciano- Puerto Rico
Mets fans can breath a collective sigh of relief that Johan Santana isn’t playing for Venezuela in this tournament. He’s just too valuable to the Mets to risk injury in a tournament like this. The Mets should keep him in a protective bubble when he isn’t on the field.
In a report for the NY Times, Ben Shipgel relays some quotes from Mets GM Omar Minaya about Johan Santana’s participation in the World Baseball Classic. Apparently, the issue here is that Santana had a very minor knee surgery after the 2008 season ended to repair torn meniscus in his left knee.
He should be O.K., but we’re going to be conservative. If we have a little bit of doubt or concern, we’d rather have him not play. We’re pro-Classic, but we always have to be mindful and protective of our players.
We don’t want to have him be in the heat of the battle in early March when he’s coming off a minor surgery. It’s minor, but it’s still surgery. We will have to use precaution.
As I’ve written before, I’m not a huge fan of the WBC. So I’d be happy if the Mets didn’t allow any of their players to participate. The risk of injury to play in this tournament is too great and provides no benefit to the clubs.
Minaya might as well come out and say he’s looking for any excuse possible to keep Santana from playing in the tournament. Santana’s the best pitcher in baseball right now and if he got hurt in a meaningless tournament, it would have a devastating impact on the 2009 season.