Yoenis Cespedes seems to have recovered quickly from his recent setback.
The slugger resumed live hitting on Tuesday, the earliest that the Mets initially had projected after Cespedes felt soreness in his right quad following the beginning of his minor-league rehab assignment on Friday.
“He’s making strides,” manager Terry Collins said. “I have no idea what the next step is going to be, how he came out of today. He was actually hitting when I called. So, we’re getting close.”
Cespedes saw about 40 pitches in batting practice with no issues. Though he has been on the disabled list since April 28 with a left hamstring strain, his latest setback involved the same quad muscle that cost him some time last August. The soreness came after running the bases.
On Monday, general manager Sandy Alderson said it was possible to have Cespedes back in time for the start of a two-game series against the Rangers next Tuesday. But following recent protocol, Alderson stressed the date was only a soft target.
Still, the Mets have weathered Cespedes’ absence. While he’s been on the disabled list, the offense was averaging 5.86 runs per game entering play on Tuesday night, the best in all of baseball during that span.
Robert Gsellman is soon getting bumped from the starting rotation. But despite a published report suggesting the viability of Gsellman as a closer, a source said that the Mets have not discussed the idea of using the righty in the role currently occupied by the shaky Addison Reed.
Gsellman allowed two runs in seven innings on Monday, when he learned he is ultimately ticketed for the bullpen with Steven Matz and Seth Lugo soon returning from the disabled list. Each is expected to make only one more minor-league rehab start before being reactivated.
Lugo has experience in the bullpen. But according to a source, team officials believe the regular routine of starting will be easier on Lugo, who is pitching through a partial ligament tear in his elbow.
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.