If it was late August and the Mets were five games behind, I might see rushing Yoenis Cespedes off the disabled list. If he could save their season and give them a realistic shot at the postseason, then, why not?
But, they are not. They aren’t even close. Before today’s game, the Mets trailed Washington by 11 games and were nine games out of the second wild card.
I might be inclined to push the envelope with Cespedes if it meant improving the Mets’ offense, but that’s not even their biggest weakness. The Mets never thought pitching – both starters and relievers – would be what’s holding them back.
Cespedes originally tweaked his left hamstring, April 20, against Philadelphia. The Mets originally said he would miss at least four games, but instead of placing him on the 10-day disabled list, they foolishly kept him on the active list. He missed three games, then after an off-day and rainout, rushed him back.
Cespedes played in two games, reinjured the hamstring April 27 and went on the disabled list the following day.
He hasn’t played since.
Cespedes has had two “setbacks,” including one last weekend. Even so, GM Sandy Alderson said the hope is for him to be activated when the Mets are in Texas, June 6, where he can be the designated hitter.
Manager Terry Collins said Cespedes is “making strides,’’ although the best he’s doing now is jogging.
Cespedes needs to run full speed; change speeds and direction in the outfield; and run the bases. He’s still a week away from doing those things, before he plays at least a week of minor league games.
That is, if Alderson wants to handle this the right way. Anything else is asking for trouble. Forcing Cespedes back now with so much of the season remaining is foolish.
It smacks of desperation.