David Wright has much bigger problems than missing the rest of the World Baseball Classic, as the Mets announced that the third baseman has been diagnosed with a “moderate intercostal strain.”
There’s no official timetable yet for his recovery, but manager Terry Collins guessed that Wright could begin the season on the disabled list and Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com notes that Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond missed five weeks with the same injury last year.
Wright missing five weeks would mean the rest of spring training and then 2-3 weeks of the regular season, so expect to see quite a bit of Justin Turner (and others) at third base.
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.