On Tuesday, the Mets activated third baseman David Wright from the 60-day disabled list. The 35-year-old hasn’t played in a big league game since May 27, 2016 as he has been dealing with shoulder, neck, and back issues.
The Mets’ plan was to activate Wright today then start him on September 29, the penultimate game of the season. He was reportedly available to play in the Mets’ current series against the Braves, but SNY’s Andy Martino reports that isn’t the case. Assistant GM John Ricco said that it is “pretty unlikely” Wright appears in a game over the next three days. The reason is because the Mets know the Braves are fighting for home field advantage and don’t want to use Wright in a meaningful game. Everyone knows playing Wright is more of a stunt, meant to give him a proper send-off and a last hurrah for the fans.
The only problem with this line of reasoning is that the Mets carried José Reyes on the roster for the entire season. He has been terrible from the moment the season began, currently holding a .190/.263/.321 batting line. The Mets willingly started Reyes 46 times this season, including seven times against the Braves. The Mets have gone 4-12 against the Braves this year.
At one point during the season, the Mets were hoping Reyes — charged with domestic violence in 2015 — would hold a retirement news conference. He didn’t. So the Mets still carried him on the roster for some reason, playing him in games that were, ultimately, meaningful in some fashion.
The 88-68 Braves are three games behind the Cubs (91-65) and one and a half behind the Brewers (90-67) for the best record in the National League. The team that finishes with the best record faces the winner of the NL Wild Card game and gets home field advantage through the NLCS. So, yes, the Mets’ series with the Braves is meaningful, so too were their games with the Braves (and other teams) earlier this season when they had already given up all pretense of winning and willingly started Reyes.
The Mets, by the way, plan to start Reyes at shortstop to Wright’s left in his farewell game on Saturday, per James Wagner of the New York Times. How fitting.