There are only three things in life that are certain: death, taxes, and the Mets bungling an injury. Over the years, countless players have played through injuries as members of the team. Matt Harvey couldn’t feel his fingers in 2016, Michael Conforto struggled through a wrist injury that same year, and Noah Syndergaard refused an MRI in 2017 resulting in an injury that basically ended his season. But over the past few seasons, the consistent case of a player playing at less than 100 percent is Yoenis Cespedes.
In each of the three seasons since the conclusion of the 2015 World Series, Cespedes has faced injury issues. In those seasons, the injuries were all related to his legs. Various leg issues cost Cespedes 30 games in 2016 and another 81 in 2017. This season is no different, as Cespedes is said to be playing at 85 percent right now. To be fair, 85 percent isn’t horrible, but it’s still not a complete player. Cespedes at 85 percent is better than most players on the Mets at 100 percent, but a healthy Cespedes is much more valuable to the team.
Cespedes should be placed on the disabled list, and he probably should’ve been on it already. With the way the Mets’ schedule lines up over the next week and a half, Cespedes won’t miss too many games. The Mets have two days off this week—on Monday and Thursday—so he’d only have to miss eight game days. Plus, the Mets certainly have enough outfielders to get by without Cespedes over that stretch. An outfield with some combination of Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo with Juan Lagares on the bench should do the trick until Cespedes is back at his best.
Another positive is that the Mets don’t face too rough of a schedule for the next ten days. They play the Blue Jays twice at home followed by three games against the Diamondbacks and then three against Miami. These teams aren’t walks in the park, but they’re certainly easier than the Brewers, Braves, and Cubs trio that comes right after this home stand.
Will the Mets put Yoenis Cespedes on the disabled list today? Almost definitely not. Sadly, this decision isn’t surprising when you look at the mismanaged injuries in the past. Following the old reliable Met timeline, Cespedes will probably aggravate his quad again at some point, and it won’t be as minor as it is right now. After that, he will probably pinch hit for a game or two before things get even worse. Then, he will then go on the disabled list, weeks after he should have.
But he will have played in a damaged state until then and will miss however much time with the injury. With all things added up, there could be a month or two of Cespedes being hampered by and on the disabled list for the leg injury. If he goes on the disabled list now, this can all be over within the next two weeks, hopefully.
After Sunday’s game, Mickey Callaway said that Cespedes has been “...gutting it out for the team.” This is a nice quote if the Mets were in the middle of a tight pennant race in September or battling in the playoffs during October, but they aren’t. It’s mid-May and the team’s star outfielder is being weighed down by a sore quad, and the team is fine with this. Just put Cespedes on the disabled list and be done with it.