As Opening Day keeps approaching and is only a week away, New York Mets’ manager Luis Rojas now has a clearer picture about the form of his players. He has seen them train and play for quite a few days now, and the píeces are starting to fall into their place.
One important piece in the Mets’ puzzle is Yoenis Cespedes. By now, virtually every fan knows that he hasn’t played a Major League game since July 2018 because of multiple surgeries in his heels and his ankle.
The New York Mets are among the teams that will benefit the most from the universal designated hitter rule, because they get to slot Cespedes and his potent bat almost every day without him risking his legs in the field. But wait… what about if he could play the outfield every once in a while?
The Mets want him to be able to play the outfield occasionally
According to what Rojas said Friday to Tim Britton of The Athletic, Cespedes playing the outfield is something that “we’re definitely getting more confident every time we see him out there.” That would be incredible news for a player that has worked hard to return, and for a team that could use the extra flexibility.
“He’s moving well. We are hoping to put him in the outfield for one of the two games against the Yankees, and that will say a lot. Yankee Stadium has got a big gap, so moving around and taking a first step off the bat, if he can play left there and get challenged a few plays will say a lot to us. That’s something we haven’t seen yet in our games as much, him getting really challenged,” the Mets skipper said.
Rojas conceded that Cespedes seems to “move better every day. We have seen him on the bases, making turns, cutting angles. He’s done a good job. He’s done his homework as far as his progression and doing what he has to do with the performance staff.”
For now, Cespedes is expected to be the New York Mets’ designated hitter come Opening Day, but if he passes the Yankee Stadium test, he could find himself in the outfield every once in a while.