Mets OF Yoenis Cespedes said he wasn't going to speak to the media at all this season, but that didn't last very long as he sat in front of the mic on Sunday morning.
Joined by team translator Alan Surriel, Cespedes got right to the point when asked if he will be ready for Opening Day.
"If I continue progressing the way that I am, yes," he said.
Cespedes' progress has looked good in live batting practice sessions, taking fly balls in the outfield, and even doing running drills on the side. And though he says "it's not as fast as I want it to be," he is feeling "really good right now."
"In terms of running, I'm at about 80 percent. Defensively, I'm much closer to 90-95 percent," he explained.
Once he reaches 100 percent in every facet of his game, Cespedes can try to reach the goal he set in the past when he said he believed he could belt 52 homers to match his jersey number.
At the end of the day, though, it comes down to his legs.
"I think if my legs are healthy, I think it's possible," Cespedes said. "It's all depending on my legs. I think when it comes to hitting, that's one of the things that I'm not worried about because that's one of the skills you never forget."
Being able to make an impact this season is something Mets fans would love to see from the 34-year-old, and it's something he is highly motivated to do. When asked on a scale of 1-10, Cespedes said quickly that his motivation was a "12."
And many would think that it stems from the big pay cut he took this offseason. He was set to make $29.5 million, but instead will make a $6 million base salary with many incentives tacked on to the new agreement. If he makes the Opening Day roster, or hits the IL with a non ankle/heel injury, that salary bumps up to $11 million.
But money isn't the reason Cespedes is going his hardest each day, and waking up at 5 a.m. to get better like he has since September.
"I think the money's important, but regardless I was going to come in with the same motivation whether the money was the same or any different," he said. "I think a big part of the motivation is the people who have been out there and have been saying that I can't do it. So I'm going out there to prove that I can."
Proving it in practice, though, only goes so far. Getting actual game time is the next big step for Cespedes, and he believes it could be coming at some point in March.
"The way that I'm feeling right now I think the middle of next month I'll be ready to go," he said.