Mets' Cespedes too sore to play, may need heel surgery
(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
By RONALD BLUM
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) A day after saying he may need surgery on both heels that would require an eight-to-10-month recovery, Yoenis Cespedes missed the Mets' 7-6 Subway Series loss Saturday because of body soreness and New York's front office did not publicly comment on his startling health revelation.
Cespedes homered in Friday's win over the Yankees, his first game since May 13 after two months on the disabled list caused by with a strained right hip flexor.
The 32-year-old, a two-time All-Star, revealed after the game that calcification on his heels has bothered him for 15 years and caused the lower body injuries that have limited him to 119 games in 1 1/2 seasons since he signed a $110 million, four-year contract.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway was unable answer whether Cespedes will need an operation.
"I think that it's something that is probably a good question for the doctors as far as if he needs surgery or not," Callaway said. "We are aware of his heels issues and that they get painful, especially when he has long periods of time that he hasn't done much. And then he starts coming back, his heels get pretty sore. He's been battling that for 15 years."
Callaway also would not give an opinion as to whether Cespedes should have surgery sooner than later.
"I think that's another probably question for doctors," he said. "I'd hate to speculate on something I'm not very educated on. I wish I could give you more on that."
General manager Sandy Alderson took a leave of absence on June 26 following the reoccurrence of cancer, and the team's baseball operations are being run by a trio of his top aides. Assistant general manager John Ricco, who spoke to reporters before Friday's game, was not at the ballpark Saturday, spokesman Harold Kaufman said. Special assistant Omar Minaya, Alderson's predecessor, was to be at the stadium but did not speak with reporters.
After the game, the Mets announced the trade of closer Jeurys Familia to Oakland for a pair of prospects, infielder William Toffey and right-hander Bobby Wahl plus $1 million in international signing bonus pool allocation. While the announcement included quotes from Mets officials, no one from the front office was available to discuss the trade with media.
Cespedes was to have been a designated hitter in the first two games of the weekend series and possibly play the outfield Sunday. He went 2 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored Friday but felt sore after running to first on an eighth-inning groundout.
"He came in pretty sore today, and we're not going to start him," Callaway said. "That's concerning."
Asked whether Cespedes' heels, hips or legs were sore, Callaway responded: It's all interconnected. He's just sore. He ran that ball out, that ground-ball out, and he came back and he was really sore."
Callaway said Cespedes will seek an additional medical opinion. After the game, Callaway said "it became pretty evident before the game that he wasn't going to be available."
Cespedes is hitting .262 with nine homers and 29 RBIs in 38 games. In an effort to increase flexibility and avoid leg problems, he took to yoga during the offseason and reported to spring training trimmer.
"The cause of my problems are my heels because when I feel some pain on my heels, I started to modify my walking, my running or even my standing," he said through a translator on Friday night, his first public comments since going on the DL.
"The only way that I can avoid my heels to keep from bothering me or getting me hurt is having surgery," he said. "I'm still thinking about it because the recovery process takes over eight to 10 months."
Cespedes said he didn't know whether he would be able to make it through the rest of the season.
"I've been playing like this for the last 15 years, but as time goes by it's getting worse and worse," he said.
Cespedes spent much of his layoff at the Mets' training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida, and was upset by criticism.
"I found some things on social media, which, honestly, I don't care, but it shows that people don't know how hard I worked down there to get back," he said.
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Updated July 21, 2018