MLB Team Report - New York Mets - INSIDE PITCH

NEW YORK -- David Wright finally acknowledged Tuesday what has been suspected for weeks, if not months: He's not 100 percent healthy.

But the New York Mets third baseman and captain refused to blame his bruised left rotator cuff for what is almost certain to go down as one of the worst seasons of his 10-year major league career.

"Is the shoulder 100 percent? No," said Wright, who sat out Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field due to neck spasms. "But that takes rest. And that's what the offseason is for.

"But is that the reason I'm struggling the way I'm struggling? No."

The Mets almost have to hope it is. Wright is hitting .266 with eight homers and 56 RBIs in 123 games. He is likely to exceed his full-season career lows in the Triple Crown categories (.254 average in 2011, 10 homers in 2009, 58 RBIs last year).

But still, Wright's numbers are not quite those of a franchise player, which he became when he signed an eight-year deal worth $140 million following the 2012 season.

Wright's struggles have deepened since the All-Star break. He is hitting just .215 with eight RBIs and no homers. He last went deep on July 11, a mere 143 at-bats ago. It is the longest home-run drought of his career.

Wright went into the All-Star break on a roll -- he hit .364 with two homers and seven RBIs in his last nine games of the first half -- but that hot stretch came immediately after Wright missed seven games due to the sore shoulder.

Yet while the evidence suggests he would benefit from another extended rest, neither Wright nor the Mets seem eager to take that step.

"Could we legitimately put him on the disabled list?" Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday. "Probably. But usually when you put somebody on the disabled list, they have to agree with the placement -- not that it's an absolute requirement, or any sort of basic requirement. But that's sort of what happens.

"At this point, we're not there yet. Now, we'll continue to monitor it and see where it takes us."


MLB Team Report - New York Mets - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 62-70

STREAK: Won two

NEXT: Braves (RHP Julio Teheran, 12-9, 2.96 ERA) at Mets (RHP Zack Wheeler, 9-8, 3.48 ERA)


--RHP Zack Wheeler will look to win his seventh straight decision when he takes the mound for the Mets on Wednesday night in the middle game of a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Wheeler earned the win in his most recent start Aug. 20, when he gave up four runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks while striking out three as the Mets beat the Oakland Athletics, 8-5. It was actually the worst start in almost two months for Wheeler, who hadn't allowed more than four runs nor thrown less than six innings since June 25, when he gave up six runs in two innings against the Athletics. In 10 starts since that hiccup, Wheeler is 6-0 with a 2.12 ERA, during which he's lowered his overall ERA from 4.45 to 3.48. Wheeler is 3-1 with a 3.50 ERA in six career starts against the Braves. He didn't factor into the decision the last time he opposed the Braves on June 30, when he gave up one run over 6 1/3 innings as the Mets fell, 5-3.