Although Cespedes this season is hitting a very productive .292/.364/.551 with 22 homers in 94 games, he’s struggled since hurting his leg. Since that point, he’s batted just .227/.321/.341.
On that point, the Mets are now saying they made a mistake in waiting so long to disable Cespedes:
Alderson says in retrospect the Mets should have placed Cespedes on the DL earlier.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) August 4, 2016
That’s GM Sandy Alderson admitting that Cespedes should have been on the disabled list long before Wednesday.
On the one hand, it’s understandable. Cespedes is a vital part of a flawed New York offense, and he had the All-Star break to convalesce. However, whether it’s because of poor communication with the training staff or a desire on all sides to have him play through it, Cespedes delayed his healing and authored an unproductive three weeks for his troubles. Now, with the stretch drive upon us, he’ll take time to get healthy.
So that’s one bad decision. The other bad decision — or at least questionable decision — belongs to Cespedes and not his team …
As you probably have already surmised, that’s Cespedes in golfing attire. In fact, Cespedes went golfing with former MLBer Kevin Millar on Wednesday. Hours later, he’d of course hit the DL.
Now, it’s perfectly possible that a relaxed round of golf does nothing to worsen his leg injury or even delay healing. However, it certainly doesn’t look good, which wasn’t lost on Alderson …
Alderson admitted Cespedes playing golf before DL was “bad optics.” Said Yo won’t be playing golf during DL stint. #mets
— David Lennon (@DPLennon) August 4, 2016
Optics! You’ll also recall that Cespedes endured another “golfing while possibly injured” controversy last postseason, so pleading naivete regarding the fallout isn’t plausible.
The good news is that the Mets have outfield depth following the deadline addition of Jay Bruce, but it’s going to be hard to replace the production of Cespedes, at least when he was healthy. Speaking of healthy, perhaps a golf-free DL stint will help get back to being just that.