PORT ST. LUCIE — Yoenis Cespedes will have to find another slumpbuster. The Cuban slugger commented for the first time on giving up golf, saying some guys use it to help with their swing during a slump, but he won’t this year.
“There are many players who when they are in a slump they go play golf to try and work out their hitting,” Cespedes said. “In my case, I will not do it. I choose to rest and rest my legs instead of doing that, so I can be more relaxed and more rested also for my legs to have more time to heal.”
Laying off golf has not had the same effect on his right shoulder however. The left fielder was placed on the Mets Medical Update with soreness do to throwing hard. Cespedes shrugged it off as an annual issue when he begins throwing hard. Tuesday, Cespedes was able to swing, but was held out of drills that required throwing with the outfielders.
“I can swing, it only bothers me when I throw very hard,” Cespedes said.
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And he is certain this will not be an issue in season.
“No that won’t happen in the season; it only happens in the first two weeks of spring training,” he said.
SMITH SLOWLY WORKING HIS WAY BACK
The MRI on Dominic Smith’s right quad confirmed a strained, the Mets announced. He will make a gradual return to baseball activity. Smith said he wasn’t exactly sure what the MRI showed, but he is not worried about rushing back.
“I can’t explain it exactly, a mild sprain or tear. So that’s what I kind of thought it was,” said Smith. “I feel good. I feel better, way better. Now I am just working my way back into the lineup.”
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Smith, who was scratched from the spring opener on Friday for showing up late to meetings, said he felt the quad injury when he went first to third in Saturday’s game.
Smith repeatedly said he will not put a timeline on his injury.
“It’s only the first week-and-a-half of spring training,” Smith said. “I still have some time. It’s something that shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”
He is not too concerned that this injury could affect his uphill battle for a spot on the roster. The Mets brought in veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez this winter because they were unimpressed with Smith’s first two months in the big leagues last year.
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“I don’t even pay attention to that. You’ve got a 22-year-old competing for a job and a potential Hall of Famer,” Smith said. “Whichever way it goes, I am sure Mets fans and the team will be very happy whichever situation occurs.”
In other medical news:
After missing the first four games with plantar fasciitis in his left heel, Jay Bruce got two at-bats as the designated hitter Tuesday. He singled in his very first plate appearance of 2018 and said his heel held up well.
“I think it’s going to be housekeeping. I am going to need to stay on it,” Bruce said. “Anybody who has ever had plantar fasciitis knows it comes and goes, it goes away, you just have to continue to stay stretched out and be proactive and try and stay ahead of it rather than try and catch up.”
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Bruce said he hopes to be in the lineup and playing in the outfield on Thursday. He has been doing all the outfield drills, but limiting the repetitions.
“I’ve been running, but I had been running and been doing the outfield drills. I just taking it easy with the volume,” Bruce said. “I’ll continue to ramp it up and be smart about it and talk with the medical staff and be on the same page with those guys and everything is going really well.”
Tim Tebow, who sprained his left ankle on a sprinkler head in the outfield, served as a pinch-hitter in Tuesday’s game, going 0-for-2. In his first at-bat, he did not swing in a five-pitch strikeout against Rogelio Armenteros, who spent last season in Double and Triple-A. He had a long fly out against Cionel Perez in his second at-bat.
“There is a ton of intrigue because of his power. The guy can hit the ball a mile,” Callaway said. “He just missed that one today. He squares that up, he’s got a homer. There is definitely intrigue because of that raw power.”
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