One forgotten member of the New York Mets who showed up for the celebration of David Wright’s career last weekend was outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes, who has been out since July due to a pair of surgeries on his heels that will sideline him for a significant portion of 2019, spoke to the media on Sunday afternoon to update them on his status. The news was a mixed bag, but the biggest information we learned is that Cespedes will undergo the second surgery on October 23rd, MetsBlog.com reports.
Cespedes offered a bit of his timetable to the press, indicating that he would be cleared to begin baseball activities in February if all goes well. Running would start at a later date, and how long that takes will determine how much longer Cespedes remains out of action. Cespedes refused to put a number on how many games he thinks he will play in 2019, noting that it is too unpredictable right now for him to guess how many games he will miss. The good news is that Cespedes reported that his first heel feels significantly better after the surgery, and that the recovery from the first surgery has gone even better than he was expecting.
The fact that Cespedes’ heels are already feeling better is great, but the odds are that he will still miss a significant portion of 2019 even if all goes well. Cespedes will be significantly behind the eight ball in terms of offseason preparation and will miss all of spring training, leaving him in need of games to get into baseball shape. The Mets saw what happened with Michael Conforto this year when he missed all of the offseason and spring training rehabbing his shoulder injury only to get activated a week into the season. Conforto struggled for most of the first half only to catch fire after the All Star Break, showing that he needed those reps and workouts in order to perform at his peak abilities. The Mets need Cespedes to be ready to produce like he is capable of upon his eventual return, not simply be a body in the lineup. That will take time, and not putting a timetable on it now is smart.