PORT ST. LUCIE — Yoenis Cespedes’ progression this spring is satisfying team officials, but the rehabbing outfielder has not been deemed ready for Grapefruit League action, which commences Saturday for the Mets.
“I think it was a really big week for [Cespedes], he is advancing,” manager Luis Rojas said Friday. “He is progressing, and he’s doing things every day that impress you.”
Cespedes, who has spent the past 1 ½ seasons sidelined, rehabbing from surgery on both heels and multiple ankle fractures sustained during an encounter with a wild boar on his Florida ranch, took live batting practice during the week. He also participated in outfield drills, but at this point is limited to running in a straight line, according to Rojas.
Cespedes also has been participating in throwing drills, including heaves to home plate.
“He’s basically going through the schedule, let’s say at like 75 percent of it, 80 percent of it from what everybody else is going, so that’s big news for us,” Rojas said, adding that a timeline for Cespedes’ return to the field hasn’t been established. “He’s got to go through this progression and our performance staff is working closely with him. He is doing a good job responding to it.”
Rick Porcello will start the split-squad game against the Marlins in Port St. Lucie, and Marcus Stroman will pitch against the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla.
Wilson Ramos, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto are among the players who will remain at home to face the Marlins. The traveling squad includes Rene Rivera behind the plate for Stroman, with Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis and Amed Rosario in the lineup. Bench coach Hensley Meulens will manage the traveling squad.
Most of the Mets’ workouts — including a three-inning simulated game — were canceled because of rain, but players participated in base-running drills.
The Mets had a movie night scheduled for Friday, when they planned to see “Just Mercy.” Rojas was expecting to attend.
“I heard the movie has a great message, so I am going to see it with the rest of the guys,” Rojas said.