Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Anyone who saw Yoenis Cespedes hobbling around the field last week could see that he needed to rest his legs. As the diagnosis changed from quad to hip, a central truth remained: A key player was clearly in pain.
So why didn't the Mets send him to the disabled list sooner?
Both in public and private, team officials pushed back on the idea that they were being reckless with Cespedes, and noted the caution they showed this season in DL'ing Todd Frazier and Jacob deGrom.
"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," Mickey Callaway said.
According to sources, the Mets spent the off day on Monday believing that Cespedes could yet avoid the DL. The plan was for him to be examined again on Tuesday. After an MRI on Tuesday revealed a hip flexor strain, Sandy Alderson huddled with Mets medical personnel in the afternoon, and the decision was essentially made to DL Cespedes.
Callaway cited two factors to explain the long delay that followed: The logistics of summoning a replacement from Las Vegas (although Tuesday's game was preceded by an off day), and strategy.
"There might have been a little bit of advantage to the other team not knowing he was available," Callaway said.
Left unsaid was Cespedes' apparent reluctance to go on the DL. Since injuring the hip on May 6, he was 5 for 15 in five games, with a home run. On Tuesday afternoon, he emerged scowling from a meeting with team officials.
And he was clearly displeased on Wednesday, when the team could not convince him to address reporters following the DL news. The exact nature of his displeasure remains unclear, because he said only, "sorry guys" to the reporters who gathered near his locker.
Make of all that what you will, but a more important -- and unanswerable question -- still hangs in the air: Will Cespedes return healthier, or will persistent leg injuries derail his season and career?