Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets follows through on a fourth-inning...

Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets follows through on a fourth-inning single against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on May 1, 2018. Credit: Jim McIsaac

CINCINNATI — Yoenis Cespedes has been playing hurt and it has affected his performance, manager Mickey Callaway said.

Cespedes was out of the lineup Wednesday for the series finale against the Reds, and paired with a team off day Thursday, the Mets hoped it would help Cespedes’ right quadriceps issue.

“He’s been feeling it a little bit that last couple of days,” Callaway said. “He probably hasn’t been able to give 100 percent out there when he’s running balls down. That might have hurt us a little bit.”

Cespedes left Sunday’s game with quad tightness. He was in the lineup Monday and Tuesday, but the leg problem interfered with his mobility.

The Mets’ situation is a common one: try to manage the injury and allow the player to continue playing, or put him on the disabled list to let it heal more fully.

“It’s tough,” Callaway said. “It’s really tough.”

The Mets faced a similar situation with third baseman Todd Frazier, who landed on the 10-day DL Tuesday with a left hamstring strain. Frazier initially called it “very playable,” but the team played it safe and decided to give him the time off. Frazier expects to miss the minimum 10 days. With three off days, Frazier plans to miss only seven games.

Frazier’s absence makes Cespedes’ bat that much more important, particularly at a time when the Mets haven’t won consecutive games in almost a month.

Cespedes pinch hit in the 10th inning of Wednesday’s loss to the Reds. He sent a tapper back to the pitcher and jogged to first.

“You need the offense. He could hit a three-run homer,” Callaway said. “On the flip side of that, we need the defense when we’re pitching.”

A new Bruce

Rightfielder Jay Bruce will miss the Mets’ weekend series in Philadelphia. He left the team after Wednesday’s game and headed to Texas for the birth of his second child.

Callaway said the Mets probably will call up a position player to take Bruce’s roster spot when he formally goes on the paternity list Friday. All five of the Mets’ 40-man outfielders are already in the majors.

Reliever Jerry Blevins also is expected to go on the paternity list in the coming days.

Guillorme gets call up

The Mets officially called up infielder Luis Guillorme from Triple-A Las Vegas. It’s his first time in the majors, but he didn’t play Wednesday. The Mets sent catcher Tomas Nido to Las Vegas.

Injury updates

Catcher Kevin Plawecki (fractured left hand) started his hitting progression Wednesday, a day after catching baseballs for the first time since getting hurt four weeks ago. “Baby steps are good steps,” Plawecki said. He’ll begin catching bullpen sessions in the coming days and will need a minor-league rehab assignment before returning . . . The Mets sent righthander Hansel Robles to New York for an MRI on his right knee, Callaway said. An X-ray in Cincinnati Tuesday was negative . . . Seth Lugo tossed a scoreless inning of relief Wednesday after doing the same Tuesday. It was his first time pitching on consecutive days as a major leaguer.


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