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Sticking to new policy, Yoenis Cespedes is ‘close’ to returning to Mets

Yoenis Cespedes after flying out to end eighth

Yoenis Cespedes after flying out to end eighth inning against the Marlins at Citi Field on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Credit: Jim McIsaac

ARLINGTON, Texas — Yoenis Cespedes is nearing a return, though Mets brass stuck to their new policy on Tuesday by providing few details about a precise timeline.

“He’s getting close,” assistant general manager John Ricco said. “We’re optimistic that he’ll be ready shortly. I don’t want to put a timetable on it. Again, he ran at 100 percent today which is a real good sign and he’s been taking BP. So, I don’t think it’s that far away.”

On the DL since April 28 with a hamstring injury, Cespedes suffered a setback on May 26, when he felt soreness in his right quad following his only minor-league rehab game. Ricco left opened the possibility of Cespedes rejoining the Mets without another rehab appearance.

Manager Terry Collins said he had held out hope that Cespedes could rejoin the Mets for a two-game series at hitter-friendly Globe Life Park, where he wouldn’t be required to play the field.

“Ten days ago, we were very quietly hoping to God he would be OK to come here and go to Atlanta,” Collins said. “But we’re not there. I know this would have been a nice place to have him for sure.”

Well armed

After spending the last two months working back from elbow injuries, both Steven Matz and Seth Lugo rejoined the Mets eager to move past their injury woes.

The lefty Matz is expected to pitch one of the games in a doubleheader against the Braves on Saturday, with Lugo set to follow in Sunday’s series finale. Neither has pitched this season.

Matz had said he was diagnosed with a flexor tendon strain while the team has insisted he had been plagued only with elbow inflammation.

“Honestly, that’s all in the past,” Matz said of that conflict. “I got through it. My elbow’s feeling better.”

Lugo was diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament shortly after pitching for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

“Hindsight is 20/20,” Lugo said. “You wonder if I did something different if I could have prevented it. But it is what it is and I’m here now.”

Hitting only

Collins intends to use the designated hitter on Wednesday to get Jose Reyes his first action in nearly a week. Reyes will likely start at shortstop with Asdrubal Cabrera getting DH duties.

With Wilmer Flores entrenched at third base for now, Reyes has not cracked the lineup since last Thursday, when he started for Cabrera at short.

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