The New York Mets finally relented and put their star, Yoenis Cespedes, on the 10-day disabled list on Wednesday morning due to a strained right hip flexor, the team announced.
It appeared as though the organization did everything possible to keep the 32-year-old on the field, which likely would have only made things worse. An MRI on Tuesday revealed the injury — picked up on May 6 — but the Mets decided to pull him from the lineup, stating he was available to pinch hit.
They didn't need him in a 12-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, but there was a dangerous notion that the team was going to let Cespedes try and play through the injury, something he has done before with disastrous results. Last season saw him miss 81 games due to hamstring issues that were not properly addressed.
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It's a difficult time for the struggling Mets to be losing their best hitter, who has been hot after a miserable start to the 2018 season. Through the opening 21 games of the year, Cespedes batted just .195 with five home runs, 21 RBI and 39 strikeouts. In the last 16 games, he's slashing .360/.414/.640 with three home runs and seven RBI, though the Mets went just 4-12 in the games he played.
He was even productive after injuring his hip, batting .333 in the five games he appeared in.
Cespedes will be eligible to return on May 24 but in the meantime, the team has recalled Phillip Evans from triple-A Las Vegas. The 25-year-old has been tearing it up in the minors as of late, batting .360 over his past seven games.