Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes

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Cespedes Open To Playing First Base

July 12, 2018 - 12:02 pm
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By WFAN.com

Yoenis Cespedes has been one of many scapegoats in another dreadful season for the New York Mets.

The 32-year-old has played in just 37 games this season, as he continues to be plagued by his often-injured legs.

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Though the outfielder has been reluctant in the past to play positions aside from left field, Cespedes has suggested to the Mets that he would be open to playing first base, assistant general manager John Ricco said.

"We know he is open to the idea," Ricco told the New York Post. "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."

Cespedes’ willingness to play first base could potentially be worthwhile for the Mets as the move could alleviate the cluster of corner outfielders currently on the roster, including Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Jay Bruce and Jose Bautista.

"There is a chance we do that," Ricco said. "It is kind of the early stages of how he looks out there. You would love to have spring training to get ready. But if he has the aptitude for it and guys (the coaches) feel he can do it, you may see him over there."

Cespedes has minimal experience in the infield, having played some third base before defecting from Cuba. The injured slugger also often takes ground balls in the infield during batting practice.

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With the lack of production from Dominic Smith, along with prospect Peter Alonso’s struggles in Triple A, moving Cespedes to first base could help form a more consistently formidable lineup in the long term.

Though the Mets expect Cespedes to play in the outfield once he returns from the disabled list, being capable of playing first base could prove to be advantageous for both Cespedes and the Mets.

The Mets hope for Cespedes to begin a stint of rehab games near the All-Star break. He hasn't played since May 13.