There is not a wealth of good news reaching the Mets locker room over the last few weeks. Their depth chart is covered in crossed-out names and the team recently dipped its toes back under .500.
When Neil Walker - he of the .387 BA and 1.048 OPS over the last month - sat out Tuesday and Wednesday’s games with lower back stiffness, it was generally assumed that doctors were on the verge of discovering he was missing a chunk of his spine. Before he departed, Walker was cruising through the week with six hits and two home runs in his last three games, so it seemed the appropriate time for him to have to be cursed by the baseball gods.
However, Walker isn’t treating the issue as though it concerns him.
Neil Walker said his back was a little better, maybe play tomorrow. Thinks his wife may make it through the weekend before baby delivery.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) August 18, 2016
The Mets have not had much time without Walker, but any good news about a key hitter is probably a relief at this point. And since injured players are all about announcing their desired return dates, Yoenis Cespedes declared he would be feeling all right a day after Walker.
Yo per the Mets: "I felt comfortable at the plate. I'll be ready for Friday."— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) August 18, 2016
This was after Cespedes had gone 2-for-3 with a double for the High A St. Lucie Mets while rehabbing from a quad injury that sidelined him on August 3. The New York offense could use a boost with deadline acquisition Jay Bruce hitting .186 since his arrival. The Mets are 13-19 since the All-Star break, their post season chances seeming slimmer by the day.