David Wright has been the face of the New York Mets franchise for over a decade, and his locker room presence is insurmountable.
He is the Captain.
He is the heart and soul of this generation of the Amazins.
He is the best third baseman, and arguably, the best hitter to ever don the orange and blue of the Mets.
He is also out for (at least) the next two months (and that is just until he can rehab) with a herniated disc in his neck, on top of battling spinal stenosis.
There is a huge hole in the middle of the Mets lineup now that Wright is injured. Due to various off days, in a futile attempt to keep him healthy, Wright only suited up for 37 games, but he was a force when he was in the lineup. His 121 wRC+ is still third on the team, only trailing Yoenis Cespedes (155 wRC+) and Neil Walker (136 wRC+). His seven home runs are tied for fifth, with also injured Lucas Duda. He walked at a rate of 15.9 percent, highest among all everyday players (Jacob deGrom is first). His .212 ISO is sixth on the team. His 350 on-base percentage is tied for first. He was one of the biggest threats in the lineup, despite his rather paltry .226 average and his dreadful 33.5 percent strikeout rate.
Not only is missing David Wright a huge issue for the Mets, they also have uninspiring options to replace him.
Eric Campbell, who is no longer with the big club after the acquisition of first baseman James Loney, was awful in his stint with the team this year, with a slash line of .159/.270/.222 with a 46 wRC+. He stuck around as a depth player, appearing in 30 games, but he has not hit major league pitching since his rookie season in 2014.
Career minor league Ty Kelly has seen some time at third, but has two hits in 19 plate appearances, and a zero wRC+; he is versatile, but he has not shown an ability to hit in the majors.
Top prospect (number 9 in the Mets system, according to MLB.com) Matt Reynolds, has one hit in 12 plate appearances, and a -16 wRC+ (yes, negative!). While he (probably) does have a major league future as a utility man, the Mets need players to hit now, or they risk really falling behind the Washington Nationals in the race for the National League East crown. They cannot afford to risk him playing every day. He needs to be eased in, not thrown into the fire.
The man who has manned the hot corner the last two games, Wilmer Flores, is easily the best (read: only) decision on the current roster to replace Wright. However, he has been dreadful this year, slashing .190/.271/.302, with a 62 wRC+ so far in 2016. He has shown, however, an ability to be an average hitter in the past; he ended 2015 with a 95 wRC+ and had a great second half of the season (for him), ending with a .280 average and a 104 wRC+.
While Wilmer Flores has shown an ability to be an average major league hitter, that is still a far cry from David Wright, who is still putting up well above-average numbers despite his severe injury history. Outside of a trade for a legitimate major league bat, there will always be question marks since his injury; even moving Neil Walker to third base and calling up highly touted prospect Dilson Herrera is not without its risks.
There is a David Wright sized hole to fill in the Mets lineup, and the cupboard is rather bare when looking at the replacements.