NEW YORK -- There were five fresh, never-used bats lying by David Wright's locker on Friday afternoon, but he wasn't going to get a chance to use them.
Wright, who hasn't played since June 26 while nursing a sore left rotator cuff, was expected to return to action for the opener against the Rangers until inclement weather prohibited him from completing the last step before he could be cleared to play.
The plan had been for him to partake in a full pregame routine -- running, stretching, taking grounders and batting practice -- but the tarp's presence meant that didn't happen.
Now he and the team will shoot for Saturday.
"I'm no doctor, so I'm relying on the people that are to come up with a game plan," Wright said. "It's worlds better than it was. I'm feeling very optimistic about how I've recovered in a relatively short amount of time.
"The last thing to do is what the medical staff is recommending, and that's get on the field, work up a sweat, make sure I can range left and right, and not have to think about it too much when I'm doing it."
Wright did, however, run and throw in the rain, as well as take some swings inside. Saturday's biggest test will come in the field when he takes grounders and throws across the diamond -- the exercises that originally pushed the pain to a point last week where he said something about it.
In the meantime, the Mets on Friday played shorthanded for a seventh straight game. With six outfielders and four infielders on the 25-man roster, they would also be in a bind should one of the infielders get hurt.
"I understand we've got a number of outfielders," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "But what's more important to us is what each player can contribute offensively. So not having that backup infielder gives us a little bit of a [disadvantage]. At the same time, it hasn't really affected us."
Alderson added that should Wright not be able to play on Saturday, the club would need to think about placing him on the disabled list.
"I don't make those decisions. It's something where, obviously, I want to play. I don't wanted to get DLed," Wright said. "If I miss eight days, I feel terrible -- the team hasn't played all that well, and obviously, they're playing a man down, so I feel terrible about that. But I don't make those decisions."
Manager Terry Collins said that although Wright has progressed, he would be hesitant to use him as a pinch-hitter on Friday. Should Wright have to go on the DL, the Mets can backdate the start of the minimum 15 days a maximum of 10 days. Any action on Friday would restart that clock.
Alderson to reassess team as Trade Deadline nears
NEW YORK -- There are many indications -- including a well-under-.500 record and a number of veteran pieces that could be valuable to other clubs -- that the Mets might be sellers during this Trade Deadline season. But with fewer than four weeks to go, general manager Sandy Alderson isn't ready to make that distinction, even suggesting that he likes the Mets the way they are.
"We'll learn a little bit more between now and the All-Star break, but certainly, we like the team as it's developing. So I think that in and of itself would make us reluctant to move players at the Deadline," Alderson said. "Now, we're practical as well. We've made deals at the Deadline, and there's no reason we hesitate to do that if it's the right thing. I think our team is on the right track, and as I've said on occasion, I don't think we're that far away. That would indicate some caution when it comes to the Trade Deadline.
"When I talk about being close, I talk about [not just] the second half of this season but going forward."
Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon, Daniel Murphy and Bobby Abreu are among those viewed as possible trade candidates, and most of them would fetch a considerable return, but finding the right trade isn't quite that simple.
Alderson said that his phone hasn't been ringing much -- "Surprisingly, perhaps, to some," he added -- though activity generally picks up in the week before and immediately after the All-Star break. In addition, the Mets' preference is to receive Major League-ready talent as opposed to prospects who would need multiple years to be ready, and that presents its own roadblocks when it comes to matching up with another team.
"If you're making deals at the Deadline with contenders, they're not anxious to give up Major League-ready players or Major League players," Alderson said.
So for now, New York stands pat. Alderson will re-evaluate at the All-Star break, which coincides with the end of a homestand that features a crucial four-game series with the National League East-leading Braves, who just finished a three-game sweep of the Mets in Atlanta.
"A lot will depend on what happens over the next couple of weeks," Alderson said. "There's no question our win-loss record needs to improve pretty significantly."
• Right-hander Dillon Gee, on the DL with a strained right lat since May 11, made his third rehab start on Friday, tossing six innings of one-run ball for short-season Class A Brooklyn. He allowed three hits and a walk while striking out 10.
• Collins indicated earlier this week that top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard might not see the Majors this season, and Alderson backed that assessment on Friday.
"It's conceivable [Syndergaard sees the Majors this year]," Alderson said, "but I wouldn't predict it.
"Obviously, we still love Noah. He's had a couple of injury issues, hasn't performed as consistently this year as he did last year, but that's not a major concern for us at this point."
Syndergaard has a 5.70 ERA and 1.57 WHIP with Triple-A Las Vegas this season. He has also struck out 74 and walked 23 in 72 2/3 innings.
• When it comes to who will be removed from the rotation when Gee returns, Alderson said that managing Jacob deGrom's workload will not be a factor. The team is aiming for deGrom to throw about 185 innings this season.
• Alderson said that Matt Harvey, who is rehabbing after Tommy John surgery, will not get on a mound during this homestand, which ends on July 13.
Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.