NEW YORK (AP) - Maybe if the weather remains lousy in New York, David Wright won't end up going on the disabled list after all.
The Mets' star was expected to hit the DL before Tuesday night's game against the Florida Marlins after an MRI exam the previous day revealed a stress fracture in his lower back.
But with big, green globs of rain lighting up the radar, the game was called off about two hours before the scheduled first pitch. So the team has decided to wait until Wednesday before officially putting their five-time All-Star on the disabled list.
Rain has been falling in the New York area for several days, and the teams played through a soupy mist in the Marlins' 2-1, 11-inning victory Monday night. But with heavier showers in the forecast for Tuesday night, the teams decided to call the series finale off.
It will be made up July 18, an off day for both teams.
``Are you kidding?' Mets manager Terry Collins asked, when team GM Sandy Alderson came out to the dugout to tell him the game was being postponed. At the time, the clouds had broken for the first time in days and sun was shining down on the water-logged field.
There have been 30 postponements in the majors this season, including the Toronto at Detroit, Pittsburgh at Washington and Baltimore at Boston washouts Tuesday. Last year, there were a total of 21 all season.
``Yesterday it was raining and we played,' Marlins skipper Edwin Rodriguez said with a sly smile. ``Today it's not raining and we don't play.'
The Mets and the Marlins will both slide their starting rotation back one day.
Jonathon Niese will pitch Wednesday night when the Mets open a two-game set against the Nationals at Citi Field. Ricky Nolasco will pitch for the Florida Marlins when they host the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a two-game series.
The big news this week has been Wright, whose back has been bothering him since he made a diving tag on Houston's Carlos Lee during a game April 19 at Citi Field.
Wright kept playing through the injury, even though he's been struggling at the plate, until the Mets pressed him to have the MRI exam on Monday. The third baseman was shocked to learn the outcome, saying: ``I thought it was just going to be a routine thing.'
Alderson said he hoped to avoid putting Wright on the DL, going so far as to call him on the roster and available Monday afternoon. But with the game hanging in the balance that night, Collins elected not to use Wright as a pinch hitter in a key situation.
``I will never use a player in a situation that David's in, especially in those conditions,' Collins said. ``You just can't do that to someone like him.'
Alderson said the course of treatment for a stress fracture is ``non-surgical,' meaning Wright will simply have to rest it for a couple weeks before resuming baseball activities.
Wright sounded frustrated when he spoke to reporters Monday.
``Hopefully get this thing knocked out in two weeks and be right back at it,' he said. ``I was being counted on to help this team win games and now I won't be able to do that.'
Wright also said he wasn't using the injury as an excuse for his performance, which has lagged far behind his career average. He's hitting just .226 with six homers and 18 RBIs.
``By no means is this thing a cop-out or an excuse for what I've done so far,' he said. ``I've played through it and when I take the field, I expect to play at a certain level, and thus far I haven't been able to play at that level.'
The Mets have already brought up Nick Evans from Triple-A Buffalo to fill Wright's spot, though even he wasn't sure Tuesday afternoon when he'll officially join the team - or what he'll be expected to do once that happens.
``They haven't told me anything about where I'm going to be playing,' Evans said. ``My flight was at 8 this morning. I'm taking BP at 5:20. That's the extent of what I know.'
NOTES: Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez said he's staying upbeat about his play. Ramirez went 0 for 6 and stranded seven runners Monday night, dropping his average to .204. ... Mets SS Ruben Tejada was in the clubhouse after being recalled from Buffalo after Monday night's game. He is expected to play 2B and Justin Turner will slide over to 3B in place of Wright.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved