'No disconnect' between Mets and Cespedes

Assistant GM Ricco discusses outfielder's lingering injury

July 23rd, 2018

NEW YORK -- Defending the Mets' handling of as he battles potentially career-altering heel issues, Mets assistant general manager John Ricco on Sunday called surgery "a last-resort thing" and a "fairly radical" treatment that may not be necessary for the team's star outfielder.

Cespedes will meet early this week with team orthopedist Dr. David Altchek, as well as a team-sponsored foot specialist. It is a plan, Ricco stressed, of which both Cespedes and the Mets approve.

"We're not at odds with him by any stretch," Ricco said. "He's agreed with, every step of the way, the treatment that we've given him, to the point where he was anxious to come back. He was feeling good. And then he came back and felt this on Friday. There's no disconnect between us. … We're all on the same page."

Unlike Mets manager Mickey Callaway, who said Saturday that he was unaware of Cespedes' comments that he might need surgery on his heels, Ricco said the Mets have been cognizant of his issues throughout his career. The team has attempted to manage the situation using a combination of stretching, orthotics and anti-inflammatory medication.

Until Friday, the Mets were under the impression that Cespedes could avoid surgery, perhaps even for the rest of his career. When a team-approved foot specialist in Florida examined Cespedes several weeks ago, the Mets came away believing he could play. But Cespedes' subsequent comments regarding the operation prompted them to schedule a new doctor's appointment for him this week in New York.

"You hope not to get there," Ricco said of surgery. "You hope to get through it with the conservative treatment first."

Whether Cespedes' issue will require surgery should become clear in the next few days. He volunteered to DH on Sunday, but the Mets declined his request as they look to keep their $110 million player as healthy as possible.

"He's had this condition for years," Ricco said. "He's played. That's part of the decision we have to make, along with the medical advice: is it worth shutting him down for that length of time because the bad days are too frequent, and too painful, for him to continue?"

Ricco also attacked the perception that the Mets are not on the same page with their star outfielder.

"I don't think it's a disconnect," Ricco said. "It's not like he has been saying this for months and we just haven't been listening. To the best of our knowledge the first he even was considering this surgery was when he said it on Friday."