TORONTO -- David Wright's voice was raspy and strained as he spoke before Friday night's game against the Blue Jays, which he started at third base for the Mets. Though Wright was sick with a head cold that he called "more annoying than anything," he still managed to crack the starting lineup; manager Terry Collins planned to reserve Wright's off-day for Saturday.
"It's just one of those things where it takes a few days to get better," Wright said. "After that, I should be good to go."
Even before taking ill, Wright had spoken to Collins about taking off at some point during the team's stretch of 20 games in 20 days. Now, with Wright sick and the Mets scheduled to play a matinee Saturday following Friday's night game, the decision to rest Wright was inevitable.
Still, it is never easy to remove the league's hottest hitter from the lineup card. Wright's .411 batting average heading into Friday's play was the highest by any Major League player at this point in a season since 2008, when Atlanta's Chipper Jones hit .414 through June 12. Wright is the first Mets player in history to carry a .400 average beyond the team's 30th game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Also according to Elias, the last right-handed hitter to post at least a .411 average and .513 on-base percentage through 150 plate appearances was Atlanta's Rico Carty in 1970.
When Wright does return to the lineup after a one-day hiatus, he may do so as a designated hitter. With the Mets playing their first series on artificial turf in two years (and just their second since 2006), Collins wants to rest as many of his regular players as possible in the immediate future.
With that in mind, first baseman Ike Davis sat Friday, Wright will rest Saturday and Daniel Murphy will receive his first day off Monday in Pittsburgh. To fill out Friday's lineup card against Jays lefty Ricky Romero, Lucas Duda shifted to DH for the second time in his career, with Scott Hairston starting in left field and Kirk Nieuwenhuis in right.