New York Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes could return to the team when they open the second half against the Yankees.
The New York Mets have been hit with the injury bug again this season, which has contributed to an awful start (39-54 entering play July 15). However, they’re starting to see their luck turn around in that regard.
Starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard returned to the mound on July 13 after missing seven weeks and enjoyedan encouraging first outing back. On top of that, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports that the team believes outfielder Yoenis Cespedes can return to the team to start the second half.
Cespedes, who has told the team he is willing to play first if they feel it will keep him on the field more, is scheduled to play five innings in left field on Monday, July 16 in a simulated game. The decision to leave him in the outfield creates more at-bats to showcase Wilmer Flores and Dominic Smith for potential trades.
The team hopes to send him on a rehab assignment after that simulated game so he can see action during the All-Star Break. The Mets open the second half of their season on Friday, June 20 against the New York Yankees, this time in the Bronx.
That would allow Cespedes to serve as the designated hitter for those three games. However, DiComo notes that, since they would be returning to National League action right after that, he needs to play nine innings in left field in order for the team to activate him.
A year after being limited to only 81 games due to injury, Cespedes has appeared in only 37 games with the Mets. He has slashed .255/.316/.474 with eight home runs and 28 RBI on the season (a pace that would give him 35 home runs and a ridiculous 123 RBI for a full 162 game season).
Since joining the Mets in 2015, he’s batted .281 with 73 home runs and 200 RBIs. He sparked the Mets to a run to the World Series in 2015, where they lost to the Kansas City Royals in five games.