Yo begins rehab, eyes return for Braves series

Slugger hitless in two at-bats as designated hitter

June 9th, 2018
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 3: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets bats during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on Thursday, May 3, 2018 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

TRENTON, N.J. -- The Mets, who have scored just eight runs during their seven-game slide, had hoped to inject their lineup with some pop by activating injured outfielder from the disabled list sometime during their Subway Series clash with the Yankees this weekend.

Instead, the club opted to err on the side of caution and sent the two-time All-Star on a rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Binghamton on Friday afternoon.

Cespedes said that if all goes well this weekend with Binghamton, he plans to rejoin the Mets on Tuesday when they travel to Atlanta.

"Today at 1:30 p.m., I was at Citi Field and started running the bases to see how I felt," Cespedes said through team translator Carlos Guillen. "I decided that I was OK, so I came here to grab a couple of at-bats, and it was well."

In his first live game action since being placed on the 10-day DL on May 16 (retroactive to May 14) with a strained right hip flexor, Cespedes batted second and went 0-for-2 while serving as the Rumble Ponies' designated hitter before being pulled for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning.

"I will be here the whole weekend," Cespedes said. "Tomorrow, I will play left field at least for five innings -- the plan is for me to be here the whole weekend."

Cespedes saw eight pitches in his first at-bat and worked a full count before flying out to the left-field warning track in the first inning. In his second at-bat, he led off the fourth and grounded out to short after seeing three pitches.

"A couple of days ago, I took live BP with ," Cespedes said. "I didn't think that after a month in taking my first at-bats that I would feel that good."

Entering action on Friday night, the Mets ranked 28th in the Majors in runs scored, hits and slugging percentage. Though Cespedes admitted that he was eager to return to help his team get back in the postseason hunt, he was less than certain that his presence alone would equate to an uptick in production.

"I am working very hard to go back and help the team get on the winning track," Cespedes said. "For the way the team is playing right now, even if I am good and doing very well, if the team remains playing this way, I don't think that it is going to help a lot, but I am eager to go back."