MIAMI -- Despite a bout of flu-like symptoms affecting him over the weekend, Yoenis Cespedes was back in the Mets' lineup Monday for the ninth consecutive game. And he made his presence felt during New York's 4-2 win against the Marlins.
"He feels good enough to play," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "He wasn't hesitating … so he's going to go out there and play."
Cespedes began experiencing a fever and other symptoms on Saturday night but played the next day, hitting a go-ahead, RBI single in the 12th inning Sunday at Nationals Park.
Even with a roughly-5 a.m. ET arrival in Miami following that game, Cespedes was good to go Monday after a night of sleep. He contributed almost immediately, throwing out Braxton Lee as the Marlins' outfielder attempted to stretch a single into a double in the third inning. Entering the Marlins' series batting just .212, Cespedes was nonetheless leading the Mets with three home runs and eight RBIs. He threw 190 feet on the fly from left field to second base to cut down Lee, who led off the third with the Marlins' first hit off Noah Syndergaard.
Injured pitcher Jason Vargas is still more than a week away -- and possibly more -- from his Mets debut. Rather than make a Minor League rehab start on Thursday, Vargas will appear in his third simulated game since undergoing surgery to remove a broken bone from his glove hand. The Mets will protect Vargas with an L screen as they did in his previous two sim games, preventing him from having to field comebackers.
Callaway previously indicated that Vargas will need at least one Minor League start before the Mets will consider activating him. The earliest that could happen is April 17, meaning Vargas' fastest return to the Mets would be April 22. Vargas had the stitches removed last week.
"We're just going to keep him on that normal five days until he's ready to be activated," Callaway said.
The Mets will recall Zack Wheeler from Triple-A Las Vegas to start in Vargas' place Wednesday in Miami. If he pitches well, Wheeler could make multiple starts in place of Vargas, whom the Mets signed to a two-year, $16-million deal in February. Wheeler was due to join the Mets in Miami late Monday after throwing a bullpen session in Las Vegas.