Mets: It's the Wright time

Before Tuesday's game, Mets manager Art Howe indicated that he was all talked out following a lengthy pre-game meeting with GM Jim Duquette and COO Jeff Wilpon. <P> Now we know why. The organization's top prospect, David Wright, will be in uniform and playing third base when the Mets open a brief two-game set with the Montreal Expos Wednesday.

"It's our feeling he's ready for the jump," Duquette told reporters after Tuesday's 9-7 loss to the Florida Marlins. "We think he's capable of handling this level."

Wright was hitting .308 with eight home runs and 16 RBI through 107 at-bats at Triple-A Norfolk, following a June 14 promotion.

His numbers were even more gaudy at Double-A Binghamton earlier this year, where he hit an eye-popping .363 with 10 homers and 40 RBI in 60 games.

Mets fans have been clamoring for Wright's arrival for most of this season, but it was only within the last two weeks that the Mets seriously began to entertain the idea of promoting the 21-year-old infielder.

The Mets have made little secret of their desire for a frontline starting pitcher to supplement the rotation, and third baseman Ty Wigginton's name has been bandied as potential trade bait.

However, the severity of Mike Piazza's sprained left wrist could throw a kink into those trade plans. The Mets will have a roster move to make to promote Wright on Wednesday, which could be disabling Piazza, who will be re-evaluated early in the day with an MRI.

The Mets could option a pitcher – either Orber Moreno or Dan Wheeler – to Triple-A to clear the roster spot, thus freeing up the majority of playing time at first base for Wigginton and Eric Valent.

Jason Phillips is also a candidate to be moved, as he has lost his starting job to Vance Wilson in the midst of a disappointing season.

MORE ON PIAZZA: Piazza suffered the sprained left wrist in the top of the second inning, when Juan Pierre dropped a bunt toward the left side of the plate. Wigginton charged the ball and whipped a throw into Pierre's path, which set Piazza up to be clipped by Pierre as he flew down the line, bending back the base of his fourth finger.

Piazza was immediately attended to by trainer Scott Lawrenson and taken for precautionary X-rays, which were negative. After the game, Piazza was wearing a light plastic brace on the hand, but he assured that the protection was "dramatic" and mostly for sleeping purposes.

Piazza was in rather high spirits, considering his situation. Though he lost feeling in the hand for 10-15 minutes before getting a tingling sensation, Piazza sounded optimistic that he could avoid a trip to the disabled list and be back in the lineup by the weekend.

"It's impossible to tell," Piazza said. "If I respond to treatment, hopefully it won't be too long. … I don't foresee any significant time off, but I don't know how I'll respond. A sprain is a sprain."

Asked about the irony of suffering his second injury at first base (he was run over by the Expos' Peter Bergeron in Puerto Rico in April), a position which was supposed to protect Piazza and keep him in the lineup, Piazza could only shrug.

"It's not an impact-free position, especially in that situation," he said. "It's tough. When those throws come into the runner, the best bet is to peel off [the base]."

UP NEXT: The Mets look to battle back to the .500 mark Wednesday night against Montreal's John Patterson (1-2, 3.29). Jae Seo (4-6, 4.59) goes for the Mets.

Bryan Hoch is the managing editor of New York Mets Inside Pitch Magazine.

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