Mets' Cespedes working out at 1st base, is 'open' to position change


Yoenis Cespedes may occupy an unfamiliar position when he returns to the New York Mets' lineup.

Cespedes, who's been on the disabled list since May with a hip injury, is taking ground balls at first base at the Mets' Florida complex as part of his rehab program, a source told Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

It was Cespedes' idea to try taking grounders at first base in an attempt to lessen the load on his ailing hip, Sherman reports.

But even if he ends up donning a trapper this season, it will likely be only on an occasional basis, as Cespedes is still working out at his regular outfield positions.

"We know he is open to the idea," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said of Cespedes potentially changing positions. "That is something we have to discuss long term if that works. He is taking grounders to see how it feels. That is the extent of it so far."

"... We still anticipate that he comes back as an outfielder. But we have had discussions, and he is open to first base."

The 32-year-old has never played the infield since arriving in the majors six years ago. His last infield experience came while Cespedes was still playing in Cuba, and he appeared in some games as a third baseman, according to Sherman. Additionally, Cespedes' Baseball-Reference page lists him as having played shortstop in the Cuban leagues.

In only 37 games for the Mets this season, Cespedes is hitting .255/.316/.474 with eight home runs, six doubles, and 28 RBIs. He made two rehab appearances at Double-A Binghamton last month, but suffered from a tight quad during that brief stint, leading to a restart of his recovery in Florida.

Ricco added that the Mets are hopeful Cespedes can begin a new rehab assignment over the All-Star break.

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