PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The more mysterious, the more seemingly ominous. David Wright provided half-answers and spoke vaguely, and with each word he spoke Saturday morning, the WhatEverItIs that caused him to be scratched from one of the intrasquad game lineups became more curious.
Official word from the Mets is that Wright has stiffness of the left rib cage. Mets manager Terry Collins pointed to his own side and indicated that was the troubled area for his third baseman. Wright wasn't even that precise. He called in stiffness, period, end of diagnosis.
The problem -- if it can be rightfully characterized as that -- began early in the week when Wright fielded a ground ball and sensed something in his side. Some of his training-camp activity was limited thereafter as a result. But Wright said he had worked out at full speed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and that he was prepared to play in the team's second intrasquad game Saturday morning.
He was scratched and told he would play Monday evening when the Mets play their first Spring Training game, against the Nationals at 6:10 p.m. ET on MLB.TV.
"If these were real games, I'd be playing," he said.
Wright wore a wrap around his midsection after the workout Friday and again Saturday. He said he did so for "preventative" reasons.
His health/readiness to play became an issue last season, when he suffered a stress fracture of his back. He was assigned to the disabled list from May 16 to July 22. His offensive production following his return was not consistent with what he and the club had come to expect. His back is not the problem now.
Wright doesn't enjoy discussing any injury or whatever residual effects that may develop. But half-answers fuel speculation among people paid to be curious, skeptical and cynical.