Yoenis Cespedes was scratched from the Mets’ lineup today due to another flareup by his damaged quadriceps. He originally injured his quad on July 8, missing half a week of play and the All-Star Game. The extent of the current flareup is unclear, but it is possible that Cespedes will miss multiple games.
Cespedes’s absence from the lineup—though he was able to pinch hit today—should help the Mets allocate playing time to Michael Conforto. The young outfielder has had trouble finding playing time since returning to the Mets. In a minute sample size of 19 second-half plate appearances, Conforto has hit .294/.368/.353 while playing some of all three outfield positions.
Alejandro De Aza made the start today in left field in the series opener against the Rockies. Terry Collins framed his decision to start De Aza over Conforto as a case of prioritizing short-term success, but that argument does not stand up when one takes a hard look at De Aza. The veteran outfielder has struggled mightily in limited playing time, hitting only .193/.278/.286. Though he has hit better of late, any advantage that De Aza provides over Conforto is likely minimal at best.
With Cespedes and Reyes both out of the lineup and day-to-day, the Mets find themselves with a very short bench.