Yoenis Cespedes exited tonight’s game with a hamstring injury that was heavily wrapped after the contest, as Newsday’s Marc Carig notes (all Twitter links). Mets manager Terry Collins expressed some concern over the injury, Carig notes. Cespedes told reporters that he felt a “shock” in his leg, though he added that the current injury doesn’t feel as bad as previous hamstring issues that have sidelined him for four and five days at a time in prior seasons. Cespedes will receive an MRI in the morning, and Carig notes that doctors currently expect an absence of two to three days. The Mets have no shortage of outfielders on hand to cover a brief absence for Cespedes, with Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto, Jay Bruce and Juan Lagares all on the roster. Of course, none of those players comes with Cespedes’ upside at the plate, and his absence removes the Mets’ most potent right-handed bat from the lineup. And the fact that the Mets are slated to begin a three-game series with the division-rival Nationals this weekend, the timing of the injury is obviously poor.
Elsewhere in the NL East…
- Speaking of the Nationals, Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke to one team official who tells him that the Nats pursued Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon and David Robertson “very aggressively” this offseason but weren’t able to close either free-agent deal or swing a trade with the White Sox. Sherman notes that it’s somewhat surprising to see an expected division contender neglect to address its most obvious need in the offseason and writes that the Nationals may have little choice but to go beyond their comfort zone in trade talks for Robertson or another available closing option this summer. Sherman lists Tampa Bay’s Alex Colome as a speculative option, while FanRag’s Jon Heyman suggests that the Rays’ Brad Boxberger or the Cardinals’ Trevor Rosenthal make sense as on-paper fits. (Though Rosenthal, of course, is throwing quite well this season and there’s no guarantee the Cardinals would even be willing to move him.) Beyond those two speculative fits, Heyman adds that as of the end of Spring Training, there’d been no recent talks with the ChiSox regarding Robertson.
- Marlins manager Don Mattingly created some degree of controversy when he elected to pull Wei-Yin Chen after the lefty had thrown seven no-hit innings yesterday, but Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reminds that Chen is pitching through a slight tear in his ulnar collateral ligament that was discovered last summer. The tear, however, isn’t something that has hindered Chen, the left-hander himself told the Miami media. “With the tear in the ligament, it doesn’t really heal,” Chen said through a translator. “It’s still there. It won’t heal. So I don’t really think about if it’ll get worse or not. I just think about with this, what treatment I should be getting.” Chen opted for a platelet-rich plasma injection and plenty of rest for his injury last summer, as the tear is not significant, Healey notes. Several pitchers have gone this route, with varying degrees of success. Healey lists Masahiro Tanaka as one prominent example and notes that Adam Wainwright pitched more than five years with a modest tear of his elbow ligament before undergoing Tommy John. (I’ll add that Ervin Santana also pitched through a partial UCL tear and never required surgery.) Mattingly flatly said that given Chen’s 2016 injury, he simply won’t consider letting Chen throw 130 pitches in a start.