MILWAUKEE — Yoenis Cespedes has been doing limited baseball activities, including taking batting practice from coaches. But general manager Sandy Alderson refused to offer anything more than a vague timeline for his potential return.
“He’s actually progressing nicely,” said Alderson, who also shared that Cespedes is expected back “soon.”
Earlier this week, the Mets sent Cespedes to New York for tests on his lower back in search of any potential underlying causes for the hamstring injuries he’s battled during his career. Those tests ruled out any major issues.
Said Alderson: “Knowing that there’s not a significant physiological issue certainly with his back I think points us in the direction of just making sure that on a routine basis he and we are doing everything that we can to make sure he is well conditioned.”
Steven Matz and Seth Lugo will both throw in an extended spring training game on Saturday, which should give the Mets a better gauge on where they stand in their respective rehabs from elbow injuries.
“We’ll see where we are at that point,” Alderson said. “That’s kind of a pivot point.”
Barring any setbacks, Alderson said both could rejoin the Mets in the first week of June. While Matz figures to join the rotation, Lugo has pitched in relief and could wind up in the bullpen.
Lucas Duda returned to the starting lineup for the first time since being sidelined with a hyperextended left elbow on April 19. But fill-in T.J. Rivera kept his spot in the lineup, moving to third base in place of Jose Reyes.
“It’s that old real simple thing: if you start hitting you play,” Terry Collins said.
Rivera entered play hitting .362 with seven RBIs in his last 12 games.
Leftfielder Michael Conforto and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera returned to the starting lineup for Friday’s series opener. Both did not start on Wednesday because of leg issues . . . Injured catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who has a bone bruise in his right wrist, has yet to begin hitting. Said Alderson: “We just don’t want to test that wrist too soon.”