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David Wright has appeared in just 75 total games over the last two seasons due to serious back and neck issues, and it’s looking like he won’t be any more reliable in 2017.
Mets manager Terry Collins announced Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, Florida that the veteran third baseman is not going to be able to throw “for a couple weeks” due to a right shoulder impingement. Wright is also still recovering from last year’s neck fusion surgery, the stated reason for him serving as the Mets’ designated hitter in his first two Grapefruit League games (Saturday and Monday). Wright did not play Tuesday versus the Marlins.
There is no DH in the National League, so the Mets are talking about trying Wright at first base (once he’s able to throw) to limit the stress on his upper body. Wright has never played first base in a professional game, but he has told Collins that he is willing to try. Anything that might solve these physical issues.
If we’re being realistic, a move to first probably won’t serve as healing potion. Which is why Jose Reyes is getting a bump in our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, found in the constantly-updated Online Draft Guide.
Reyes is going to play a ton this season for the Mets, primarily at third base but also at shortstop. And the 33-year-old switch-hitter figures to bat leadoff when he starts. He put up a decent .769 OPS with eight home runs, nine stolen bases, and 45 runs scored in 60 games last season for New York after serving out a 51-game domestic violence suspension.
Reyes is due just $507,500 (the MLB minimum) from the Mets in 2017 on a crafty deal signed last June 25. Wright, meanwhile, is owed $20 million in 2017 and $67 million total on a contract that runs through 2020.
Editor’s Note: Mookie Betts graces the cover of the new Rotoworld Draft Guide magazine. You can find it in stores now or order right here. Our online version of the draft guide is also live and packed with everything you need to know to get ready for your fantasy draft.
Haniger: Early-Spring Sleeper?
It’s foolish to read closely into box scores from spring training games -- especially for fantasy purposes -- but sometimes a performance will warrant a discussion of a player and sometimes that player is deserving of attention for reasons having little to do with Grapefruit or Cactus League play. Got all that?
Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger absolutely obliterated a fastball from top pitching prospect Michael Kopech for a second-inning three-run homer in Cactus League action Tuesday. Kopech is a guy who’s been clocked at 105 mph in the minor leagues, and he was hitting 101 mph on Tuesday. The three-run blast was part of a 2-for-3 afternoon for Haniger, who also led off the top of the third inning with a single as the Mariners routed the White Sox by a final score of 8-1.
Haniger projects to open the 2017 regular season as Seattle’s primary right fielder after being acquired from the Diamondbacks in November as part of the Ketel Marte, Taijuan Walker, Jean Segura trade.
Haniger, 26, batted .321/.419/.581 with 25 home runs, 94 RBI, and 12 stolen bases in 129 games last season between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno. He told reporters last week that he believes he can steal 20 bases in the majors, and manager Scott Servais confirmed that Haniger has been given the green light. Get on board now. His current ADP (average draft position) in NFBC leagues is 396. Over at CBS it’s 373. Yahoo reads N/A.
Dyson Dealing With Wrist Sprain
Rangers manager Jeff Banister announced Tuesday that closer Sam Dyson suffered a sprained right wrist during pitchers fielding practice last Friday and will be limited to side work for much of this week. Dyson made his Cactus League debut on Saturday -- the day after he suffered the injury -- so this obviously isn’t anything too serious. But we’ll monitor his status with a sharp eye on the Rotoworld player news page.
Dyson took over as the ninth-inning man in Texas last May and wound up registering 38 saves. Over the last three seasons, spanning 187 2/3 innings, the 28-year-old right-hander holds a dominant 2.45 ERA.
Dyson is currently committed to pitching for Team USA in the first round of the World Baseball Classic, but the native of Tampa, Florida may be asked to alter that plan.
Quick Hits: Red Sox rotation candidate Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut on Thursday … Gary Sanchez went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer Tuesday as a Yankees split-squad bested the Tigers … Rickie Weeks went 3-for-3 with a homer, a double, and three RBI as the Rays crushed the Twins on Tuesday … Josh Donaldson (calf) took outdoor batting practice Tuesday without incident … Cardinals right-hander Mike Leake pitched three hitless innings and struck out three Tuesday against the Braves … Nationals signed reliever Joe Blanton to a one-year, $4 million free agent contract … Masahiro Tanaka opened his spring with two perfect innings Tuesday against the Tigers … Glen Perkins (shoulder) is set to throw his fifth bullpen session of the spring on Thursday … Dee Gordon (pink eye) made his Grapefruit League debut Tuesday versus the Mets … Alex Cobb was perfect for two innings Tuesday in his Grapefruit League start against the Twins … Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-3 with a double Tuesday against the Yankees … Nationals manager Dusty Baker indicated again on Monday that he isn't set on using Trea Turner and Adam Eaton out of the top two spots in the order … Steven Souza (hip) is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday … Rockies outfielder David Dahl will be sidelined for a couple of days with a sore back … Lance McCullers (elbow) is expected to throw a simulated game in the coming days … Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker struck out three batters over two scoreless innings in his Cactus League debut Tuesday versus the Rangers … Orioles closer Zach Britton (oblique) played catch at 90 feet on Tuesday … Giants closer Mark Melancon tossed a scoreless inning in his second Cactus League appearance Tuesday versus the Padres … Peter O'Brien launched his third home run of the spring Tuesday in the Royals' defeat of the Brewers … Rays manager Kevin Cash said Tuesday that he’s hopeful Matt Duffy (heel) will be ready to play in Grapefruit League games by mid-March.