North Port, Fla. — The Mets will hold their first full-squad workout on Monday, and it won’t be boar-ing.
Yes, Yoenis Cespedes will train alongside his teammates at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said on Sunday. It will mark the first time Cespedes has been on any sort of field with fellow Mets since his last big-league game, July 20, 2018 at Yankee Stadium.
“He will be participating in batting practice, he’ll be participating in live BP, he’ll continue to be building with the team,” Van Wagenen said at CoolToday Park, where Major League Baseball hosted a Grapefruit League Media Day. “Everyone will be able to see where he is offensively. He’s going to continue to be building his running progression which, as you can imagine, coming back from the injuries that he had, is going to be a buildup, but you’ll see him throw. You’ll see him participating with the team, and we’re all excited about that.”
Cespedes’ 2018 ended prematurely when he underwent multiple surgical procedures to remove calcifications from both heels. Then, last May, Cespedes sustained multiple fractures to his right ankle when he suffered a fall after being startled by a wild boar on his Port St. Lucie ranch. That accident resulted in Cespedes agreeing to a severe pay cut (about $30 million) for both 2019 and 2020, with the chance to earn back about half of that by playing extensively this coming season.
“I don’t know exactly what drills he’ll be doing [Monday], but he’s been doing outfield work,” Van Wagenen said. “He’s been doing some straight-line running, and we’ll continue to see that, but as far as baseball participation [Monday], we’ll all see it for the first time collectively with the group.”
Asked whether it was realistic to think Cespedes could contribute to the Mets as an everyday outfielder, Van Wagenen said, “It’s very difficult for any of us to predict what timelines a player returning from injury can be. The goal is to build upon each day, not have setbacks, and be in a position where we can get guys to the point where they can contribute in whatever capacity that is.”