New York Mets third baseman David Wright was scratched from the lineup on Tuesday against the Washington Nationals with what he described as a rough day with his back.
Wright, who missed several months last season due to spinal stenosis, said he could have tried to prepare enough and toughen up to play through it, but manager Terry Collins said he didn't want Wright to risk injury.
"I said, 'I can't do that to you, to us, to the organization,'" Collins said, according to MLB.com's Danny Knobler. "You sacrificing yourself tonight could lead to a month."
Wright had wanted to play since Lucas Duda was already out of the lineup due to a stiff back, but Collins said one of the trainers let him know Wright wasn't feeling well. Collins said Wright "finally agreed" to be removed from the lineup and that he was unsure whether or not Wright would be able to play on Wednesday.
"Maybe Terry is saving me a trip to the [disabled list]," Wright said after the game.
While Wright has still been trying to learn to deal with stenosis and has developed a new pregame routine, he got treatment before Tuesday's game and said he didn't feel as good as he had in the past.
"It's just day to day," Wright said. "That's the most frustrating thing. Basically, I did everything to try to get it somewhat manageable. ... Today was more towards the bad."
Matt Reynolds, who was called up earlier Tuesday from Triple-A Las Vegas, made his MLB debut in place of Wright and Eric Campbell started in place of Duda. Both went 0-for-3 on Tuesday.
I'm hearing Wright wasn't happy about being pulled from the lineup. He told Collins he was able to play, but Collins must have seen something that necessitated the move, especially since it's not like there is an obvious good option to fill in since Campbell already filled in for Duda at first base. Or, it's also possible it's nothing major, and he simply didn't want him in there because of the colder temps and wet infield.
Wright took early batting practice Saturday. He was off Sunday, but he pinch hit. He was off Monday, and now he's not in the lineup.
It's also worth noting that this situation was probably inevitable. I mean, Wright has been struggling and dealing with a very intense, painful condition in his lower back. He's done a seemingly terrific job managing his therapy and preparedness each night, but he simply hasn't been producing on field. So, again, if Collins sees something, he has to say something and make a move, regardless of Wright's stature in the clubhouse and with the organization and fans.