Mets' Wright released from hospital
NEW YORK -- New York Mets slugger David Wright was released from the hospital and put on the disabled list Sunday, one day after he was hit square on the helmet by a 94-mph fastball from San Francisco's Matt Cain.
When asked whether Wright could miss the rest of the season, New York manager Jerry Manuel said it's "a possibility" depending on how further tests come out. The club placed him on the 15-day DL after a 3-2 victory over the Giants.
Team spokesman Jay Horwitz said the All-Star third baseman was examined by a neurologist Saturday night and again Sunday morning before being sent home. Wright still had a headache and was experiencing "post-concussion symptoms," Horwitz said.
Mets general manager Omar Minaya spoke to Wright during the game.
"David wanted to take a chance to go out and play, but we decided to take it away from him and DL him based on the recommendation of our doctors who consulted with a specialist," Minaya said. "It's a medical decision."
Wright was hit just above the ear hole by a pitch from Cain in the fourth inning, sending his batting helmet flying into the air and the gritty infielder sprawling to the ground. Wright lay there for several minutes before walking off the field with some help from trainers.
He was taken by ambulance to the Hospital for Special Surgery about 50 minutes later, where a CT scan came back negative.
"I do believe we have to be cautious with this," Manuel said, "and we will be."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who had Wright on his team during an All-Star tour of Japan three years ago, reiterated Sunday that the pitch that hit Wright was not intentional.
"Sometimes it gets to the point where any pitch inside, if it hits a batter, it's on purpose," he said. "I felt horrible. It's a sick feeling when someone gets hit in the head."
Wright is batting .324 with eight homers and 55 RBIs and had missed only one game for the banged-up Mets this season. The club is already without Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran, and the pitching staff is missing J.J. Putz, John Maine and Jon Niese.
Even so, the Mets will be especially cautious with Wright after they were criticized for rushing back Ryan Church from multiple concussions last year. The outfielder experienced dizziness and other post-concussion symptoms, and although he repeatedly asked to be in the lineup, Church never seemed fully recovered and struggled much of the season.
"David would know well enough whether he can move forward," Manuel said. "He's a bright young man and he understands a lot of different things, what's going on, and I think he has enough wisdom to put it in its right place."
His absence nevertheless puts the Mets in another bind, because versatile infielder Alex Cora is still nursing a hand injury. Fernando Tatis started in Wright's place at third base Sunday, with Luis Castillo at second and Anderson Hernandez at shortstop.
The 26-year-old Hernandez was reacquired by the Mets in a trade with Washington on Aug. 6.
"I know it's a difficult thing for David. He's a team guy. He's a huge part of this organization," Manuel said, moments after learning Wright was put on the disabled list. "To lose David Wright is not good for me, but it's good for David Wright. If they had cleared him, that would be different. It takes it out of my hands completely.
"As I say, if the experts had cleared him, then we would have worked through the process."
The incident involving Wright prompted retaliation from Mets starter Johan Santana, who first threw behind the back of Pablo Sandoval and then hit Bengie Molina during San Francisco's 5-4, 10-inning victory Saturday.
Neither manager expected any warnings to be issued before the first pitch Sunday.
"There's no history there, so I don't think anybody's worried about that," Bochy said. "As long as this game has been played, it's going to happen. ... Baseball has a way of taking care of its own issues. With that said, more is done today as far as fines, suspensions, to prevent these beanball wars."
Wright's beaning came as Rawlings was reportedly set to introduce a helmet billed as a safer, new-generation model designed to better absorb such impacts.
"If it provides more protection, then I'm all for it," Wright recently told The New York Times. "I'm not worried about style or looking good out there. I'm worried about keeping my melon protected."
Despite Wright's optimism, the helmet, dubbed the S100, likely won't be widely used in the big leagues anytime soon, as it is "too bulky, too heavy and too geeky-looking," The Times' report said, citing an informal sampling of MLB players.
According to the manufacturer and an independent testing organization, the helmet can safely withstand the direct impact of a 100-mph fastball. The helmets in use today by big leaguers have mixed results on pitches faster than 70 mph, the report said.
"No, I am absolutely not wearing that," Mets right fielder Jeff Francoeur said with a laugh after seeing a prototype, according to the report. "I could care less what they say, I'm not wearing it. There's got to be a way to have a more protective helmet without all that padding.
"It's brutal. We're going to look like a bunch of clowns out there."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.