David Wright appeared bound for the disabled list after saying last night that he couldn’t “functionally” grip a bat or grip a baseball because of the small fracture in his right pinkie finger, but he has apparently made a lot of progress over the past 16 hours or so.
The Mets just announced that Wright will be in the starting lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Phillies. The surprise decision was made after he tested his finger while taking some swings in an indoor batting cage this morning.
Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Jason Bay have scuffled thus far, so getting Wright back at even 80 percent should provide a big boost for the middle of the order. The 29-year-old third baseman was off to an excellent start before the injury, collecting seven hits (including a homer) and four walks over his first 17 plate appearances.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.