NEW YORK -- New York Mets third baseman David Wright was scratched from Tuesday's showdown against the Washington Nationals because his balky back acted up before the game. Manager Terry Collins already had decided to have first baseman Lucas Duda sit with back woes that developed during the weekend in Colorado, so the Mets are down two regular infielders for the series opener against the Nats.
Wright has managed his back condition with strategic days off this season. This marks the first occasion where he was forced from a lineup because he did not feel right.
Wright returned last August after missing four months dealing with spinal stenosis. He manages the issue, but it is not curable.
As for Duda, Collins decided to give him the series opener off rather than push things. The manager reasoned that Duda is not going to be in the lineup Tuesday against left-hander Gio Gonzalez anyway, so Duda might as well get a few days off to give him the best chance to recuperate.
Duda received an anti-inflammatory injection during Monday's team day off.
"Lucas complained of a pretty stiff back at the end of the weekend," Collins said Tuesday afternoon. "He was examined yesterday, was given some medication and a shot. He's pretty sore today. So he and I talked a while ago. It's just not worth the risk with the weather the way it's going to be tonight. It looks like it's going to be kind of damp and cool. ... I just said with Gio pitching tomorrow, he'd probably have that day off anyway, so let's just use yesterday, today and tomorrow and see if we can clean that back up so he's healthier."
Once Wright was scratched, newly promoted Matt Reynolds was inserted in the lineup for his major league debut. Reynolds was on the NLDS roster after Ruben Tejada suffered a broken right leg as well as on the NLCS roster, but he never appeared in a game.