After experiencing soreness in his right quad running the bases in his first rehab game in St. Lucie, the timetable for the return of outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has been pushed back. According to general manager Sandy Alderson, the Mets now hope to see their slugging left fielder next Tuesday in Texas, where their interleague matchup with the Rangers would allow the Mets to ease Cespedes back in at the DH spot in the American League ballpark.
Cespedes was 0-for-2 with a walk in his May 26 rehab start at St. Lucie, but had to be lifted in the seventh inning due to the aforementioned soreness. Cespedes hasn't played since the Mets' April 27 defeat to the Atlanta Braves.
Should his recovery proceed without further incident, Cespedes’s return will be most welcome, even if offense has not been the Mets’ most pressing issue this season. It will be fascinating to see how Terry Collins juggles a completely healthy outfield once the DH spot is no longer an option (should Cespedes break tradition and meet the Mets’ injury recovery timeline). Michael Conforto is leading the team with a 177 wRC+, Jay Bruce is putting together a solid 2017, and Curtis Granderson is showing signs of life with a .263/.360/.526 batting line in May after his customary slow start, there will need to be an odd man out of the lineup. And some Mets fans may riot if that odd man out is Conforto.