Known as the “Hot Corner,” third base will be a position most New Yorkers will be keeping a close eye on as our local ball clubs return to action with the Mets’ Thursday opener against Atlanta and the Yankees’ Friday night showdown in Tampa Bay.
Mets third sacker David Wright, the undisputed face of the franchise following the free-agent departure of Jose Reyes this past winter, will be under pressure to produce after being limited to 14 homers and 61 RBIs in 102 games during an injury-plagued 2011 campaign.
Wright could become trade bait at the July 31 deadline, or price himself out of the Mets’ range, as Reyes did, by putting together the type of trademark season he was known for in the previous decade. Either way, local baseball aficionados will be closely monitoring his progress in 2012.
New York’s other third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, is also coming off a disappointing season due to injury. The $275-million man managed 16 homers and 62 RBIs in a career-low 99 games last year, and is anxious to prove he can recapture the form that made him the top-paid player in the sport.