So, uh, David Wright is going to be just fine.
The 29-year-old third baseman returned to the Mets’ starting lineup on Saturday afternoon for the first time since fracturing his right pinkie finger and broke out for three hits (including a first at-bat homer) in a 5-0 New York victory over the Phillies.
When Wright was first diagnosed with the pinkie fracture, the general assumption was that he would require a stint on the 15-day disabled list.
But he noticed vast improvement Saturday during pregame activities and was given clearance to return to the field after a meeting with team doctors.
Wright is now batting .588/.636/.941 with two home runs and five RBI in 22 plate appearances.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.