PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- David Wright returned to the Mets' lineup on Friday against the Cardinals, all but solidifying the fact that he will also play Opening Day on Monday against the Padres.
Wright hit third and played third base in the Mets' final game at Tradition Field on Friday, and penultimate Grapefruit League game. He went 0-for-3 with a groundout, a lineout and a flyout.
It was the six-time All-Star's first appearance in a big league-type game since a March 12 appearance with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Shortly thereafter, Mets trainers learned of Wright's strained left intercostal muscle and shut him down. He was hitting .438 with a team-best 10 RBIs in four games for Team USA, and he's hit .267 in five Grapefruit League games this year.
"Game situations helped me feel a little more at ease, not just hitting, but also on the field, knowing where to go and what plays [to make], just positioning and things like that," Wright said. "I think it's kind of helped me to this point. For sure, I had a lot of at-bats before I got hurt and I'll get a handful afterwards. But I feel more comfortable now than I did when I first came down here for Spring Training."
By playing Friday, it likely eliminates the chance that Wright would begin the season on the disabled list for the ailment. He'd been getting at-bats in Minor League games this week with Opening Day in sight, but with an appearance on Friday, it takes away the potential for the Mets to backdate a DL stint.
"Games are games," Wright said. "Obviously, I'm a little more familiar with these pitchers than I was on the back fields, but the game action on the Minor League fields I think helped me feel a little more comfortable out there today."
Wright said he'll also play Saturday in the Mets' final Grapefruit League game against the Orioles in Sarasota, Fla.