Saturday, May 22, 2010

David Wright should try Francisco Cervelli's Gazoo helmet

During last night's game, the Met announcers marveled that Francisco Cervelli was able to do well wearing what they referred to as the "Gazoo helmet." Last year, these announcers, as well as much of the baseball world, mocked David Wright when he tried the helmet after his concussion. Wright got rid of the helmet after a couple of days. But he has not been the same hitter since.

Cervelli, who had a concussion in spring training, might look a little silly in the oversized headgear, but ultimately anyone with a .342 batting average, 17 RBI in 73 at bats, and a ridiculously high batting average with runners in scoring position looks pretty good.

David Wright, on the other hand, is the one who really looks ridiculous at the plate these days. Wright has 57 strikeouts in 149 at bats so far this season.

In April, Wright at least was walking a lot (21 BB) and stealing bases (7). But he has only seven walks and one steal in May, along with a .236 BA. And his strikeout rate has actually increased - 31 strikeouts in 72 at bats, almost a strikeout every other at bat.

There's a lot of speculation that much of Wright's difficulties come from him having trouble dealing with righthanders pitching him inside. If so, perhaps Wright would feel more comfortable digging in if gave the special helmet another shot.

Last year, Mets' management consistently screwed up their players by insisting that they play through injuries and come back too soon. This year, it's players like John Maine who want to take the field when something is wrong and end up making matters worse.

Wright, who didn't even want a day off the other day and felt "embarrassed" to go on the DL last year after his concussion, is too proud to ever admit that he might do better with the special helmet. And who knows, maybe his problems go beyond that.

But it's worth a try. Anything is worth a try when you're on the way to the all-time strikeout record.


Amol said...

Wright was actually the first player to try the helmet when he came back from the concussion last season. He says he stopped using it because it wasn't comfortable, but I think it was his teammates' mocking. Either way, a guy with his history should be wearing it.

Jon Lewin said...

Amol, I should have mentioned up top that I was reacting to Wright perhaps giving up on the helmet too quickly last year and that the announcers weren't much help in making fun of him, so I have adjusted the piece accordingly. Thanks for pointing out the omission.

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