Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t suited up for the New York Mets in almost two months, but he might finally be on his way to a return.
No, this is not a drill, even if it feels like one.
Cespedes has constantly been the Mets’ most crucial offensive weapon since arriving in 2015. Any extended absence from him is a painful one for the lineup to endure, but this most recent trip to the disabled list has been especially tough.
He last took the field for New York all the way back on May 13 and has been on the shelf since due to what was originally categorized as a mild right hip flexor strain. The veteran outfielder made progress toward a rehab assignment on Monday by getting some running in:
Yoenis Cespedes started running yesterday, Mickey Callaway said. He was at about 75 percent effort.
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) July 3, 2018
The Mets aren’t out of the woods yet, though.
About a month after initially hitting the disabled list, Cespedes was assigned to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies for a rehab assignment, only to get shut down with recurring symptoms shortly thereafter.
This situation has been a frustrating one for both fans and the organization because there hasn’t appeared to be any sense of urgency from the star to get back on the field. The Mets’ struggles had already begun with Cespedes in the lineup — they were 19-18 on May 14 — but things have gone into overdrive during his absence.
Who knows, though, maybe this is just what he needs to actually be 100 percent moving forward. New York’s reputation for mishandling injuries in recent years hasn’t fallen by the wayside with their slugger. It seemed like he was constantly playing hurt to first avoid the disabled list before seemingly returning too early and not fully healed.
So maybe this is a real thing, or that’s just an excuse. His presence on the active roster may have helped prevent some of this freefall from happening, but it wouldn’t have changed much. After all, Cespedes can’t log any innings out of the bullpen.