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Yoenis Cespedes as DH would be a 'luxury,' says Mets manager Luis Rojas

Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets at

Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on July 20, 2018. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Two years removed from his most recent major-league game, Yoenis Cespedes is a potential impact player for the Mets during a shortened 2020 season.

But the operative word there is still potential.

“I know the Cespedes name has come out lately and it'd definitely be a luxury having Cespedes on a daily basis as a DH,” manager Luis Rojas said Thursday. “But he's someone that we still need to look how he presents in camp. When the DH rule started brewing, right away we started clicking with a bunch of names. We have a lot of individuals who can definitely fit into a DH role.”

Rojas named two DH candidates who were not among the non-exhaustive bunch general manager Brodie Van Wagenen previously mentioned: catcher Wilson Ramos and non-roster first baseman Matt Adams.

The Mets worked Ramos, who turns 33 next month, hard last year. His 1,016 1/3 innings behind the plate ranked third behind J.T. Realmuto of the Phillies and Yasmani Grandal of the Brewers (now White Sox). Ramos started 113 games at catcher and played in 141 overall.

Putting Ramos at DH would be a way to give him a defensive break while keeping his bat in the lineup. The same is true for Robinson Cano, Pete Alonso and others.

“Remember, Wilson Ramos had a 26-game hitting streak from the catcher position last year,” Rojas said. “If Wilson gets in a hot streak like that, you want to have that bat in the DH spot.

“The depth in our roster can help out for that DH spot. We'll see who the hot hand is.”

Extra bases

The Mets plan to use a five-man rotation, Rojas said. Sans Noah Syndergaard, who had Tommy John surgery in March, they will fill it out with Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha behind Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz. … All of the Mets reported to camp on time, according to Rojas. They have 51 players in their 60-man player pool.

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