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“He looks like a monster,” teammate Michael Conforto told reporters Saturday. “He looks like he’s motivated. He looks like he’s in shape. I’ve seen some of the stuff he was doing to get himself ready, some videos of him working out at his ranch. The guy is definitely hungry. He misses the game.”
Cespedes missed all of the 2019 season after fracturing his ankle on his ranch. He has been limited to just 119 games in three seasons since signing a four-year, $110 million contract before the 2017 season, though that number was reduced because he suffered a non-baseball injury last year.
When in the lineup, Cespedes has remained a solid-albeit-unspectacular player. He’s hit 26 home runs and drove in 71 runs over the last three years, numbers that would extrapolate to about 35 home runs and 96 runs batted in over a 162-game season.
“To get Yo in the lineup on an everyday basis, that’s going to be absolutely incredible for us,” Conforto said. “It’s something that we haven’t had, and we’re pretty excited about it.”
Cespedes may wind up being the beneficiary of the universal designated hitter that’s set for the 2020 season. Mets manager Luis Rojas said it’s unclear whether Cespedes will be able to return to left field full-time this season, but his ability to rake in the batter’s box will make the Mets better and limit his potential for injury.