MIAMI -- Manager Terry Collins is bracing for a skeleton lineup when the New York Mets face Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandezon Sunday in the series finale.
With three regular starters already on the disabled list, Yoenis Cespedes was scratched Saturday because of soreness in his right hip. ThenJuan Lagareswas forced to depart in the eighth inning of a 6-4 win over the Marlins because of a bruised left thumb.
Both players are not in the lineup Sunday.
Cespedes' cranky right hip "feels better" and he probably is available to pinch hit, Collins said Sunday morning. Lagares will see a doctor later Sunday at the stadium to get a better understanding of his left thumb injury.
Lagares suffered the injury on an inning-ending, diving catch in left-center. His catch, of a hit off the bat of Ichiro Suzuki,deprived the Marlins of two runs. His thumb got caught, and he subsequently was unable to grip a bat.
Cespedes has endured recurring hip issues. This flare-up began two hours before Friday's series opener. Cespedes played that night and intended to play Saturday. But trainers were unable to get his hip loose, not even enough for him to pinch hit later in the game. Pitcher Jacob deGrom ended up pinch hitting with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth.
"I'm not really concerned," Cespedes said through an interpreter. "This has happened to me, like, three other times. It happened in the offseason. It happened during spring training and one other time before. I know it goes away after some rest."
It has been a jarring few weeks, injury-wise, for the Mets. First baseman Lucas Duda landed on the disabled list May 23 because of a stress fracture in his lower back. On Friday, the Mets placed third baseman David Wright on the DL because of a herniated disk in his neck that will require him to refrain from baseball activity for six to eight weeks. The Mets have been without No. 1 catcherTravis d'Arnaudsince late April because of a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
Nonetheless, the Mets (31-23) have managed to keep afloat. Michael Conforto, who stepped into Saturday's lineup late to fill in for Cespedes, snapped an 0-for-20 drought with an RBI single in the eighth that tied the score at 3. Matt Reynolds, who pinch hit for the injured Lagares, delivered a go-ahead single that plated Conforto.
"We said yesterday before the game, 'You've got to pick each other up,'" Collins said. "And guys did that today. They did it yesterday. We needed some guys to step forward."
Still, Collins knows the Mets have their work cut out for them Sunday against Fernandez.
"We've got a tough assignment tomorrow -- playing short and facing him," Collins said. "That's not going to be a fun way to get the day going."
Mets dealing with injuries to OFs Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares
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