Mets OK with Yoenis Cespedes playing golf despite ailing quad

ByAdam Rubin ESPN logo
Thursday, August 4, 2016

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins said he had no problem with outfielder Yoenis Cespedes playing golf on Wednesday despite being out of the starting lineup the previous three days with a balky right quadriceps.

Cespedes remains unable to play the field, but starts as the designated hitter on Wednesday night as the Mets open a stretch of five straight games in American League ballparks with a Subway Series matchup against the Yankees in the Bronx.

Former major leaguer Kevin Millar tweeted a photo of the pair after a round of golf.

"Was he running on the course or was he walking? Did he ride a cart or was he jogging?" Collins asked. "I don't have any problem with it."

A Mets official said Cespedes was unavailable to comment pregame Wednesday.

Cespedes raised eyebrows during the National League Championship Series when he golfed in suburban Chicago on the morning of Game 4. Cespedes then departed that game with an injury to the AC joint in his left shoulder. Cespedes subsequently explained that golfing relaxes him and he regularly plays during the season.

Cespedes did pinch hit on Tuesday against the Yankees at Citi Field and was credited with an infield single. After the game he said the quadriceps was uncomfortable.

"I felt a little discomfort running down the line, but once I got into the dugout it went away," Cespedes said through an interpreter. "... The problem is that once I take a couple of days off, I feel better. But once I go full speed is when the pain returns."

The Mets plan to use Cespedes as the designated hitter for the next five games. After the weekend, when the Mets return to National League ballparks, a decision will be made about whether Cespedes will require a DL stint, general manager Sandy Alderson said.

Alderson tried to add some levity to Cespedes' round of golf.

Asked if he was troubled by the activity, Alderson said: "I'll let you know after the game tonight."

More trouble: First baseman Lucas Duda, who landed on the DL on May 23 with a stress fracture in his lower back, had a setback last week when discomfort flared up. Los Angeles-based specialist Robert Watkins recommended 30 days of rest, which likely ends Duda's season, according to Alderson. Watkins does not believe surgery ultimately will be necessary, the GM added. Duda could be a non-tender candidate in December. He is making $6.725 million this season and is eligible for arbitration one final time this winter. Alderson suggested it is possible one of the Mets' outfielders -- presumably Michael Conforto or Jay Bruce -- may be asked to get acclimated to first base during the offseason. ... Right-hander Zack Wheeler will begin a rehab assignment on Saturday with Class A St. Lucie. Wheeler is returning from Tommy John surgery, which was performed in March 2015.