Mets outfielder Michael Conforto, who suffered a Grade 1 oblique strain in the second week of March, has been taking regular batting practice, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post, who added that "team officials seem encouraged" by Conforto's workouts.
With a second, shortened spring training of sorts necessary before the 2020 season begins -- and players also needing time to prepare and report for that spring training -- it's hard to envision Opening Day happening before late-May or early-June.
Conforto said on March 11 that there was no timetable for his return, but it's fair to believe he'll be ready to go if/when the season resumes after the pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.
GM Brodie Van Wagenen hadn't ruled out Conforto for what was to be the originally scheduled Opening Day on March 26, but it was hard to see a scenario where he would've been ready in time.
Now, the Mets should be able to rely on Conforto joining Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Davis in their starting outfield most days from the start of the regular season.
When it comes to Yoenis Cespedes, his status remains unclear.
In the days before spring training was paused, Cespedes had advanced to running to first base at full-speed. In order to receive clearance to return to games, Cespedes still needed to run and cut on the bases at full speed and demonstrate that he was able to make cuts in the outfield.
Cespedes, who had been working hard since November as he aimed to return after missing most of the last two seasons, will need to cross those final hurdles once baseball is back.
There's also a potential wrinkle when it comes to Cespedes and the 2020 season.
If/when the season gets underway, there's a strong chance that the universal DH will be implemented as part of any scenario the league is currently weighing.
The above could mean the Mets having a perfect spot for Cespedes, while also providing them with more options when it comes to Davis, Robinson Cano, and others.