Yoenis Cespedes is having a brutal start to the season. Unlike previous seasons when he got off to excellent starts in March and April, he is struggling mightily putting the ball in play. What does he think the reasons are for his poor start?
Entering play on Tuesday, Yoenis Cespedes is one of the New York Mets outfielders that is struggling offensively to start the season. Cespedes is hitting just .195 with a .258 OBP and .612 OPS. He has just four extra-base hits. His fellow outfielders, Jay Bruce (4-34, 0 HR, 3 RBI in his last 12 games) and Michael Conforto (4-29, 0 HR, 2 RBI in his last nine games) have also struggled lately.
While the reason for Bruce and Conforto slumping is left to be examined, Cespedes seems to have found the answer in not playing enough golf.
While suffering through a rough 2017 season, Cespedes gave up golf because he felt it was hindering his hamstring injury. If his struggles continue, fans in the New York area might be seeing him on the greens again soon, as he has hinted that he might be picking up the game again soon.
According to James Wagner of the New York Times, Cespedes thinks giving up golf may be a reason for his slow start. Cespedes told Wagner:
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
One of the things Cespedes has really struggled with is making contact. While everyone in New York is whining about Giancarlo Stanton’s inability to hit the ball, Cespedes has struck out a major league-leading leading 37 times this season (Stanton has just 32 Ks entering Tuesday’s games).
In previous seasons, Cespedes has always gotten off to good starts. In 2016-17 combined, he hit .282 with a .360 OBP, .960 OPS along with smashing 13 HR and driving in 33 runs. He struck out fewer times in March and April combined the previous two seasons (36) compared to 2018.
Everyone knows that ballplayers are very superstitious. For the Mets outfielders this season, they all might need some time together on the links.