Yoe­nis Ce­s­pedes, LF, Mets

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

What’s up: The Mets’ sea­son and Ce­s­pedes’ sea­son have been a hand-in-hand dis­as­ter. The “Amazin’s” are lan­guish­ing un­der the .500 mark as they come to Den­ver on Tues­day to open a three-game se­ries. Ce­s­pedes, plagued by var­i­ous leg in­juries, had played in just 56 games and was hit­ting .277 with 10 homers and 27 RBIS through Fri­day. In many ways, the left fielder’s sea­son has mir­rored that of Rock­ies right fielder Car­los Gon­za­lez, who also has strug­gled. The two out­field­ers have been among base­ball’s big­gest dis­ap­point­ments, the dif­fer­ence be­ing that Ce­s­pedes can blame in­juries, while Gon­za­lez can­not.

Back­ground: The 31-year-old Ce­s­pedes signed a $110 mil­lion, four-year con­tract in the off­sea­son to re­main with the Mets. His prodi­gious power at the plate and grace in the out­field made him a fan fa­vorite, first in Oak­land and then in New York. But he has learned a hard les­son: muscling up is not nec­es­sar­ily good for a base­ball player. “My plan is to change my work­out pro­gram,’’ Ce­s­pedes re­cently told the New York Post. “I want to be­come more flex­i­ble, more ath­letic, have less bulk (in my legs). I want to do less weight lift­ing. I’m go­ing to do some dif­fer­ent things, I want to do yoga, more stretch­ing. I want to be lighter. I want to come back around 210, lose about 15 pounds.’’

Saun­ders’ take: It’s be­gin­ning to look like the Mets’ de­ci­sion to re-sign Ce­s­pedes was a mis­take, but that’s the chance teams must take in this age of big-money con­tracts. In­ter­est­ingly, the left fielder re­cently told Su­san Slusser of the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle that he wants to fin­ish his ca­reer in Oak­land. “I wish that hap­pens,” Ce­s­pedes told the Chron­i­cle, adding: “I told (for­mer A’s and cur­rent Mets team­mate Jerry) Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m go­ing to play, but I’m go­ing to play the last year of my ca­reer with Oak­land. I don’t know if that’s pos­si­ble or not, but that’s my goal. … I still love the A’s. They were the first team to give me an op­por­tu­nity to play in the big leagues. I love Oak­land all the time.’ ”

Adam Hunger, Getty Im­ages

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