Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday that the injury Yoenis Cespedes has been trying to play through has not improved in two days, but the club is not putting him on the 10-day disabled list.
The slugging leftfielder had an MRI exam Tuesday morning and it revealed what the team termed a “mild strain of [his] right hip flexor.” Cespedes and manager Mickey Callaway have talked about it as a quadriceps injury like the one that’s plagued him before. Alderson said it’s the “same lingering issue” and that the team will be monitoring him over the next couple days.
Cespedes was not moving comfortably in Sunday’s loss in Philadelphia, and with off days on both sides of the two-game series with Toronto that begins Tuesday, it would seem an ideal time for the DL. Alderson was asked about the hesitation with going that route and replied, “Partly what we want to do is make sure we’re reading Ces correctly — we understand exactly what the full extent of the injury is, the degree to which it is improving or not improving . . . This will be the next couple days when we make a decision in that regard.”
Cespedes was not in the starting lineup Tuesday night, but Alderson said he would be available to pinch hit.
There are factors beyond the game for Callaway to consider before putting him into one of the games against Toronto. If the ultimate verdict is to put Cespedes on the DL, it can be backdated to Sunday and the team could have him back sooner; using him against the Jays means the club goes 10 days without him.
“We have to take it into consideration,” Callaway said at a pregame news conference. “We have to have an obvious chance to win the game if we’re going to use Ces tonight in my opinion. That’s how we’ll approach it.”
“It’s a decision Mickey will make,” Alderson said. “That’s always a consideration, trading the opportunity in the game for the loss of potential backdates.”
The Mets have been willing to let Cespedes try to play through the injury, but the team doesn’t want a situation where he has to miss significant time, as he did with injuries each of the past two seasons.
“We’re very mindful that at some point this can’t continue,” Alderson said. “That’s true — not just with Ces but with all of our players — that we’re better off taking a more precautionary approach. We’re going to continue to monitor the situation but he has not shown any improvement over the last few days.”