CINCINNATI -- About four hours prior to game time Monday, Yoenis Cespedes emerged from the visiting clubhouse at Great American Ball Park flanked by manager Mickey Callaway, head trainer Brian Chicklo, high performance director Jim Cavallini and other members of the Mets' training staff. That group watched as Cespedes stretched
CINCINNATI -- About four hours prior to game time Monday, Yoenis Cespedes emerged from the visiting clubhouse at Great American Ball Park flanked by manager Mickey Callaway, head trainer Brian Chicklo, high performance director Jim Cavallini and other members of the Mets' training staff. That group watched as Cespedes stretched and ran through a series of calisthenics, attempting to prove his sore right quad would not be an issue.
"He came out of it really well, and looked really good doing it," Callaway said.
With that in mind, Callaway reinserted Cespedes into the Mets' lineup, a day after his quad troubles limited him to a single inning of their series finale against the Rockies. If there were any lingering effects, they did not seem to affect Cespedes at the plate, where he finished 2-for-4 with two doubles, a run scored and a sacrifice fly in the 7-6 win over the Reds. Cespedes did move somewhat awkwardly on defense on a pair of plays in the fourth inning, and he gave way to a pinch-runner for strategic reasons in the ninth.
Cespedes said he first felt discomfort trying to beat out a double play Saturday at Citi Field, then experienced it again warming up prior to Sunday's game. But he did not consider the issue nearly as significant as the quad troubles that forced him to miss significant time in 2016.
The Mets, for their part, felt Cespedes was not at increased risk of aggravating his injury by playing Monday -- even though they held their collective breath when he departed Sunday's game.
"You're always worried because you never know," Callaway said. "You never know how these things are going to turn out."
Home sweet home
The most popular Mets on Monday afternoon were Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier, who played 14 seasons combined in Cincinnati before reconnecting as Mets this season. The Reds played a video tribute before the game for Frazier, who returned to Great American Ball Park for the first time as a visitor.
Bruce was here in different laundry in 2016, shortly after the Mets acquired him in a trade for Dilson Herrera. He called that experience a "whirlwind" with his wife and infant son -- unlike this trip, which has been "a little more relaxed."
"It's always great," Bruce said. "It's always felt kind of like a home to me, where I grew up, so many great memories. It's great to get back and see the city, and how much it's grown, and how many things are happening around here. It's cool to see."
Although Bruce and Frazier are not uncommonly close friends off the field, they feel an affinity toward one another due to the five seasons they spent together in Cincinnati.
"It's that comfort feel," Frazier said. "Coming up with him, helping each other out along the way, now in the opposing clubhouse. We play well together. It's exciting for us and exciting for the Mets. We've got a good thing going right now."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.