NEW YORK -- An offseason focused on flexibility and injury prevention did not allow Yoenis Cespedes to avoid the disabled list. Following days of consideration, the Mets opted Wednesday to place Cespedes on the 10-day DL with a strained right hip flexor, retroactive to Monday. Cespedes will be eligible to return May 24.
Injuring his hip in a May 6 game, Cespedes initially played through the injury, going 5-for-15 with two walks and a home run in five games. On Tuesday, he underwent an MRI, which revealed the strain, but the Mets still did not place him on the DL at that time. Only after playing shorthanded in their 12-2 win over the Blue Jays did the team decide to make a move, calling up utilityman Phillip Evans from Triple-A Las Vegas.
"The information I have is that he can get this resolved with some rest," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said of Cespedes. "He could have continued to gut it out, continued to play. We were hoping with the off-day and days like that, the progression would be there at some point, maybe this would go away while he was playing. ... [We decided to] take a different route and make sure that we are cautious with him and get him back to being the Cespedes he can be soon."
Callaway added that the Mets waited to make the DL move until Wednesday partially because they could not fly a replacement in from Las Vegas in time for Tuesday's game, and partially for a bt of gamesmanship: they wanted the Blue Jays to be unsure if Cespedes was available off the bench.
As he has throughout the past 10 days, Cespedes declined to comment before Wednesday's game. Not since May 6, the night he originally injured his leg, has Cespedes addressed his situation publicly. At that time, he called it a quad injury.
In 37 games, Cespedes is batting .255 with eight home runs and a .790 OPS. He revamped his offseason procedures this winter in an effort to stay healthy, taking up yoga and eschewing heavy weights after spending significant chunks of the past two seasons on the disabled list. But it took less than seven weeks for Cespedes to hit the DL again.
"He was doing everything we asked of him, not only in the offseason, but in-season," Callaway said. "He was doing a great job. His preparation and the way he went about his business is definitely not the reason this happened. It's just wear and tear on the body through the Major League season that everybody goes through."
Evans, who made the Mets' Opening Day roster but appeared in only three games, was batting .254 with nine homers and an .849 OPS in 35 games at Las Vegas. A late scratch from the 51s' lineup on Tuesday night, Evans took a red-eye flight to New York, arriving at Citi Field after about an hour of sleep. The Mets immediately placed Evans in the starting lineup in left field, batting him fifth against the Blue Jays.
"I'll try and stay with the same approach," Evans said. "It's been working for me down there, so we'll see how it translates up here."