In an effort to improve his on-field durability, New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has been taking groundballs at first base while rehabbing in Port St. Lucie, Fla., according to multiple reports.
Cespedes reportedly is willing to move to the position and will continue to get reps there as he ramps up baseball activities. The 32-year-old has played only in the outfield, primarily left field in recent seasons, during his MLB career.
Cespedes has been out since May 13 with a strained right hip flexor and also is battling a chronic heel injury. Manager Mickey Callaway told reporters Wednesday that Cespedes has yet to start running the bases in Florida.
“There’s more baseball-specific skills that probably need to be done before he gets in an actual rehab game,” Callaway said. “But he is progressing toward those.”
Cespedes has played just 37 games this season after appearing in 81 last year because of hamstring injuries. He is making $29 million this season in the second year of a four-year, $110 million contract.
Cespedes hit .255 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs this year before his latest injury. He had struck out in 50 of his first 137 at-bats.
A move to first base for Cespedes could impact the playing time of Wilmer Flores and Dominic Smith at the position. While Cespedes has been sidelined, Michael Conforto has played left field, with breakout 25-year-old Brandon Nimmo in center and veteran Jose Bautista in right. Fellow outfielder Jay Bruce is on the 10-day disabled list with a sore right hip.
–Field Level Media