MIAMI — Mets captain David Wright was placed on the disabled list Friday and will be shut down from all baseball activities for 6-8 weeks as he hopes to avoid season-ending surgery for a herniated disc in his neck.
At the earliest, Wright, 33, will return in August, though any setback would leave him scrambling to return before season's end.
The seven-time All-Star leaves a void in the lineup and in the clubhouse, where he has been the team's undisputed leader despite myriad physical problems that have spurred doubts about his ability to remain a productive major league player.
The team said Wright will undergo "appropriate physiotherapy" to protect his neck area. He will do so while also dealing with the constant unpredictability of spinal stenosis, the back condition that limited him to 38 games a season ago.
Wright missed just one game specifically because of his back condition this season, though he and manager Terry Collins had to carefully choreograph his playing time.
"It's going to be tough," Collins said. "It's pretty shocking to hear about the length of time."
Wright's disabled list stint is retroactive to May 30. Wilmer Flores is in line to take over at third while the Mets weigh how aggressively they'll pursue a longer-term replacement.
Baker back in Cincinnati
Dusty Baker returned to the place he used to call home. The Nationals manager got a haircut and felt a little love from Reds fans who would love to have him back.
Baker returned to town for a weekend series that started Friday against the Reds, who fired him after six seasons following an early-round playoff exit in 2013. Since then, the Reds have become one of the NL's worst teams. Baker's Nationals lead the NL East.
It's his first time back in town for baseball. He was part of an event at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in November that allowed him to emotionally move past his unexpected departure.
Cincinnati lost 86 in 2014 and 98 last year, and the Reds are on pace for what would be the second season of 100 or more losses in their history.
Baker got a haircut at his former barber shop and said the chatter was about how much he was missed. He compared it to a girlfriend who breaks off the relationship but later decides that "maybe you weren't so bad after all."
MORE Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman on paternity leave and called up INF Trea Turner from Triple-A Syracuse. Zimmerman's wife, Heather, had the couple's second child on Thursday. Turner, 22, is a top prospect who leads the International League in runs and steals, and is second with 61 hits.
BRAVES: RH reliever Jim Johnson was activated from the 15-day disabled list and rookie RHP Ryan Weber was optioned back to Triple-A Gwinnett. Johnson was 0-4 with a 7.90 ERA before going on the DL on May 10 with a strained right groin.
CUBS: Closer Hector Rondon wasn't needed Friday, but was ready to pitch after being bothered by a sore lower back in recent days.
RED SOX: OF Jackie Bradley Jr. was reinstated from the paternity leave list and Rusney Castillo was optioned to Triple A. Bradley left the team Tuesday to be with his wife, Erin, for the birth of the couple's first child. Their daughter was born Wednesday