This past weekend, David Wright played in a minor-league rehab game, marking his first game action in more than a year. Meanwhile, Jose Reyes has remained on the Mets, despite the fact that he's hitting .193/.266/.304 while playing subar defense.
There have been countless times this season when fans had questioned why Reyes was not being released. Similarly, multiple reports have been written indicating Reyes was nearing the end of his time playing for the Mets. However, that day has yet to arrive, leaving fans, radio hosts and columnists to speculate Reyes is being protected because of his spot in team history.
After Wright successfully made it through five innings with St. Lucie on Sunday, it occurred to me that maybe Reyes is still around because there's a chance the former dynamic duo can suit up at the same for the Mets one last time this season.
Wright and Reyes playing side by side would be a fun, sentimental moment in team history, but it would also provide a terrific reason for fans to be excited at the end of what has been another lost season.
In the span of 15 years, Wright has played 1,583 games with the Mets, which is second-most in team history. Reyes is right behind him at 1,339. Wright has the most at-bats in team history, Reyes is third. Wright has scored the most runs ever for the Mets, Reyes is second. Wright is also first in hits, with Reyes in second for hits, doubles, extra base hits, times on base and total bases. Reyes leads the franchise in triples and stolen bases.
The point is, while Ed Kranepool, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Piazza were the most prolific offensive players for the Mets during their respective eras, Wright and Reyes have been the franchise's most prolific hitters since the early part of last decade.
Unfortunately, Wright has not played for the Mets during the past two years, mostly due to a variety of issues and surgeries related to his spine. He's under contract through 2020 and still working hard to get back, having gone hitless in four at-bats, including three strikeouts, during rehab games on Sunday and Monday.
"He's done everything he possibly can to resume his career," Mets coach Gary DiSarcina said Sunday, according to the Boston Globe. "If desire and effort go into his comeback, he's done it. Everybody is rooting for him. He's such a good person and totally devoted to getting back on the field."
In 2015, Wright was diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis and was limited to 38 games in the regular season before playing in the entire postseason. He played in 37 games the next season, but later underwent season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck.
Wright is a career .296 hitter, with a .376 OBP, 242 home runs and 970 RBI. A seven-time All-Star, Wright last appeared in 100 games in 2014, during which he hit .269 with eight home runs and 63 RBI in 134 games.
"I want to be able to say I did everything I could," Wright said earlier this year. "If it works, that's obviously the goal. And if it doesn't work, then I'll rest easy knowing that I gave it my best shot." I'd love to play again, but my body's got to hold up and it's going to have to cooperate with me a little bit."
This is the last thing Wright wanted for the end of his career. He's also said he doesn't want to push his attempt at a comeback to a point where it threatens his long term health. He has a beautiful wife, a growing family, terrific parents, plenty of money in the bank, and a still-in-tact legacy and relationship with fans from the greatest city in the world. As a result, though he's moved the goal posts before, I expect this current push may be David's final attempt at a comeback.
Reyes made his major league debut in 2003. Wright followed in 2004. Both infielders played pivotal roles in helping the Mets reach the postseason in 2006 and they remained key components in the years that followed until Reyes departed via free agency.
"It would be a cool, storybook ending, I think, if we could get back on field together," Wright told me before Spring Training 2017. "It would be pretty amazing to be out there and win again, sort of finish what we started before it's too late."
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!