Almost four months removed from his most recent surgery, Yoenis Cespedes is frustrated and bored, he said, but is feeling good about both the Mets’ chances of competing and his chance of participating this year.
Cespedes, speaking publicly for the first time since September, said he expects to play in 2019, though he doesn’t know when in the second half he will be ready. That is in line with what Mets officials said all winter.
For now, progress comes in small bits, such as beginning a throwing program next week. Cespedes said he is unaware of a timeline for when he will start running or hitting, but he has been working out in Port St. Lucie for the past two months and is strengthening the tendons in his feet and ankles.
And already, he can sense the benefits of his twin heel surgeries after dealing with chronic pain there since he was a teenager.
“I do feel a lot better. I can’t even say at the moment that I’m at 50 percent, but when I used to wake up [pre-surgery], I would struggle walking,” Cespedes said through an interpreter. “But now, even at this stage of the rehab, I can definitely walk without any pain.”
Cespedes has played in 119 games combined over the past two seasons — just 38 in 2018 — because of a variety of leg injuries that the Mets and Cespedes believe stemmed from the heel issues. That in effect wasted the first half of Cespedes’ four-year, $110-million contract (which Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen negotiated when he was Cespedes’ agent).