The New York Mets and manager Mickey Callaway need to get on the same page. After explicitly stating that star Yoenis Cespedes, normally a left fielder, would not play first base, the slugger will be playing that exact position during his rehab game on Wednesday in the Gulf Coast League.
Cespedes has not appeared in a game since May 13 after straining his right hip and quadriceps. It was just the latest on a long list of injuries that predominantly included his legs, whether it was his hamstring or quads.
Since signing a four-year deal after the team’s magical 2015 run to the World Series, Cespedes has missed a combined 168 games due to injury over the past three seasons. His absence has constantly made the Mets lineup meager and is a large reason why the team has been as bad as it’s been over the past two seasons.
It looks as though he hasn’t missed a beat with his bat though, crushing two home runs in a simulated game on Tuesday. That kind of power could do wonders for a Mets offense that is ranked fifth-worst in the majors, though the season is already over as the team sits 16 games under .500.
Why would the Mets move Yoenis Cespedes to first base?
As for Cespedes’ potential move to first base, it’s a logical idea from the Mets.
Limiting the amount of time Cespedes could be running on these seemingly cursed legs and hips will only better his chances of staying healthy and in the lineup. First base doesn’t call for nearly as much movement.
The 32-year-old has never played a game at first base though, which is cause for concern. But the Mets will have “minor league rovers” reporting to the big club on whether or not Cespedes should continue playing at the position, per the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
Cespedes likely can’t be any worse at the position than what the Mets already have. They have gotten little from the five men they attempted to put there. After releasing veteran Adrian Gonzalez, New York has trotted Dominic Smith, utility infielder Wilmer Flores, backup catcher Kevin Plawecki and right fielder Jay Bruce out to the first-base spot with little to no production.