Cespedes back on DL as Mets weigh decision on foot surgery
NEW YORK (AP) — Yoenis Cespedes is back on the disabled list, and the New York Mets were still trying to determine whether the oft-injured slugger needs surgery on both feet that would require an eight-to-10-month recovery.
An announcement had been expected before Tuesday night’s game against San Diego, but about 35 minutes prior to the first pitch Mets spokesman Harold Kaufman said the team was waiting to receive a second opinion and it was unlikely the news conference would take place until afterward.
Following a 6-3 win over the Padres, however, the Mets still had no update.
“We’re still on the second opinion from the second doctor,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “You have to take everybody’s information and make a judgment call on what they all feel. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation where two doctors haven’t been able to get together and come to some type of conclusion in the end.”
Cespedes had an MRI and was examined by a foot specialist Monday in an effort to ascertain whether he should have an operation to alleviate chronic heel pain.
The two-time All-Star returned from the disabled list Friday after missing two months with a strained right hip flexor and homered as the designated hitter in a victory at Yankee Stadium. But in a staggering revelation, the 32-year-old Cespedes disclosed after the game that calcification on both heels has bothered him for 15 years and caused the lower-body injuries that have limited him to 119 games in 1½ seasons since he signed a $110 million, four-year contract.
He hasn’t played since.
The left fielder is batting .262 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs in 38 games this season.
“Still trying to gather information,” Callaway said Tuesday afternoon.
New York put Cespedes on the 10-day DL and called up infielders Jeff McNeil and Phillip Evans from Triple-A Las Vegas. Evans was in the starting lineup at third base Tuesday, batting eighth. He went 0 for 3.
Utilityman Ty Kelly was designated for assignment, a day after popping out on a ninth-inning bunt attempt.
The 26-year-old McNeil made his major league debut in the eighth and had a pinch-hit single on the first pitch he saw. He got a big ovation from the crowd of 21,925.
“It felt amazing,” McNeil said. “Threw me a fastball right down the middle and I put a good swing on it.”
McNeil has been a pleasant surprise in the minors this year, earning his first major league call-up. He was hitting .342 with 19 homers, 26 doubles, 71 RBIs and a 1.028 OPS in 88 games at Double-A Binghamton and Las Vegas.
McNeil was a 12th-round pick in the 2013 amateur draft out of Long Beach State. He has primarily played second base in recent years but also has experience at third and could even be used in the outfield, Callaway said.
“Always want to get the first hit out of the way,” McNeil said. “It was unbelievable. Something I’ve always dreamed about.”
In six minor league seasons, McNeil has hit .311 with 28 home runs and an .823 OPS.
“We’re excited that he might be a possibility for us,” Callaway said. “We feel comfortable with him at multiple positions now. That was kind of the goal the last couple of weeks, to kind of hone in on a couple more positions to give us more options.”
It is the fourth stint with the Mets this season for the 25-year-old Evans, who made the opening day roster out of spring training. He had a career-high 14 home runs in 62 games at Las Vegas.
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