For a regular baseball player, running sprints is just another part of their training routine. For a guy that hasn’t played since July 2018, though, and is looking to make his mark in the last year of his contract, it is a significant development. Yoenis Cespedes, after months of being unable to run at full speed, did just that in the New York Mets‘ Citi Field on Friday night.
He also played catch with his throwing partner Johneshwy Fargas, per MLB.com. The sprinting is a giant step in the right direction for the Mets’ outfielder, who has missed the last year (and change) with multiple heel and ankle surgeries. He seems an awful lot closer now.
â€œWeâ€™ll see in the upcoming days in camp when we start ramping it up more and we get involved into the bases and all that where he is as far as that,â€ manager Luis Rojas said earlier in the day. â€œBut I know he was in progression and I heard really good things about it, and I canâ€™t wait to see CÃ©spedes myself.â€
With the addition of the designated hitter in the National League, the New York Mets stand to be among the biggest beneficiaries because they can plug Cespedes in that slot and bring him along slowly. They also have other candidates such as J.D. Davis, Dom Smith and Robinson Cano.
Lowrie still a question mark for the Mets
While the Mets got good news on Cespedes, infielder Jed Lowrie seems stuck in his recovery. He reported to spring training with a knee brace back in February, and he still has it this time around.
As a result, he may not be able to participate in full baseball activities at Mets camp. The likelihood is that he won’t appear in games until he sheds his brace. Brodie Van Wagenen recently narrowed down Lowrie’s physical issues to his left knee, and said he must find a way to feel comfortable playing while wearing a lighter brace.
For now, Lowrie played catch and took some ground balls, but not much else.
â€œOnce again, weâ€™re going to see how his progression is,â€ Rojas said. â€œThatâ€™s something that I need to reassess with the performance staff as well to see where he is. The knee brace was his limitation as far as getting comfortable â€¦ throughout practice and seeing if he can wear it in games. That was the question as we were going through camp, and we need to reassess with the performance staff here in camp as far as his baseball activity.â€