Cespedes resumes hitting as return nears

Collins on slugger, who took BP on Tuesday: 'We're getting close'

May 30th, 2017

NEW YORK -- Mets outfielder took batting practice Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., his first action since experiencing quad soreness in a Minor League rehab game last Friday. Though the Mets are loathe to put timelines on any of their injured players, they remain hopeful Cespedes can return soon -- perhaps as soon as June 6, when the team could use him as a designated hitter at Texas.

"He's making strides," manager Terry Collins said. "We're getting close."

Cespedes, who is batting .270 with six home runs in 18 games this season, has been sidelined since April 28 due to a strained left hamstring. He injured his quad during his first rehab game.

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But the Mets, by and large, have not missed a player many projected to be their best offensive player. The team entered Tuesday's play ranked first in the Majors in runs per game (5.86) since Cespedes went on the disabled list.

"Just because Yoenis isn't here, doesn't mean we can't win," Collins said. "I went into Spring Training and I thought we had a good team. I thought we had a good offensive team. Yoenis made us an exceptional offensive team. I still think we're a good offensive team, and we're showing that. But you put him in the middle of that lineup and we've got a chance to be special."