MIAMI — Yoenis Cespedes played Wednesday night over Michael Conforto, insisting to Mickey Callaway that he was fine despite a recent sickness and slump.
Callaway pitched the idea of a day off Tuesday night, but “again he looked at me like I had two heads.”
“So, he’s playing,” Callaway said.
Cespedes has dealt with flu-like symptoms since Saturday. In five games since, he is 2-for-23 with 11 strikeouts, including an 0-for-3 effort Wednesday. Both hits proved to be game-winners, but neither was well struck.
“I just want to make sure he’s taken care of right now,” Callaway said. “For me, the right thing is to have Cespedes in the lineup every day, even if he’s not going that great, because like [Tuesday] night, he’s going to come through at some point. He’s that talented.”
Callaway said he won’t sit Cespedes without agreement unless his plate appearances or physical condition start to affect his mental approach.
“Then that’s the time to get him out or I have to step in and [say], ‘You need a day no matter what,’ ” Callaway said. “As long as he’s locked in and wants to play, Cespedes is going to play.”
Juan Lagares started Wednesday for a second night in a row, against another lefthander (the Marlins’ Jarlin Garcia). On Tuesday, that meant Jay Bruce starting on the bench. On Wednesday, Conforto took a seat before getting a pinch-hit double and scoring in the eighth.
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Righthander Anthony Swarzak (left oblique strain) said he is feeling much better — and very much wishing he could participate in the Mets’ hot streak — but has not thrown. Assistant general manager John Ricco said Swarzak is still weeks away from returning . . . Callaway is one of four managers since 1900 to win at least nine of his first 10 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
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