Yoenis Cespedes arrived in New York on Saturday ready to play, as he is batting third and playing left field in Saturday’s game vs. the Nationals.
Cespedes, who’s hitting .293 with 18 home runs and 61 RBIs, will provide a spark for the Mets’ offense, which currently ranks at the bottom in the National League in scoring. No everyday Met has more than 45 RBIs or hitting better than .270.
“You add a big bat and all of the sudden that lengthens up your lineup a little bit,” manager Terry Collins said. “We are anxious to see him play.”
The timing on adding a big bat couldn’t have come better for the Mets, who trail the Nationals by two games in the NL East after Friday’s walk-off win. The Mets acquired the 29-year-old outfielder from the Tigers for minor league pitchers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.
“I’m pretty amped up tonight,” Collins said. “All these years I was in pennant races, we never got a piece at the deadline like this. … When you make moves like this. It’s time to pick it up.”
Cespedes has spent the majority of his four-year career as a corner outfielder and has played all of this season as a left fielder. By acquiring Cespedes, the Mets will shift Curtis Granderson to center and have Kelly Johnson play right in Saturday’s game.
On a regular basis, though, Collins said Cespedes will see time in center vs. right-handed pitchers and Juan Lagares in center vs. lefties.
The Mets are Cespedes’ fourth team since the beginning of last season, and he wore No. 52 with each team. To allow him to continue to wear that number, Carlos Torres switched his jersey from No. 52 to No. 72.
“I’m very flattered that the Mets wanted to give me this opportunity,” Cespedes said. “I’m excited to come back to this ballpark. I hear a lot about New York and the crowds. I’m just hoping to do my job and it will all work out well.”
Jacob deGrom (10-6, 2.05 ERA) and the New York Mets (53-50) look to draw within one game of the NL East lead when they face Joe Ross (2-3, 3.03 ERA) and the Washington Nationals (54-47) Saturday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field.
|1. Anthony Rendon (R) 2B
||1. Curtis Granderson (L) CF
|2. Yunel Escobar (R) 3B
||2. Daniel Murphy (L) 3B
|3. Bryce Harper (L) RF
||3. Yoenis Cespedes (R) LF
|4. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 1B
||4. Lucas Duda (L) 1B
|5. Jayson Werth (R) LF
||5. Wilmer Flores (R) 2B
|6. Ian Desmond (R) SS
||6. Kelly Johnson (L) RF
|7. Wilson Ramos (R) C
||7. Travis d’Arnaud (R) C
|8. Michael Taylor (R) CF
||8. Jacob deGrom (R) P
|9. Joe Ross (R) P
||9. Ruben Tejada (R) SS
DeGrom Notes: DeGrom is coming off a no-decision on July 26 when he threw 7 2/3 shutout innings vs. the Dodgers. … He currently ranks second in the majors with a 2.05 ERA. … DeGrom is 2-0 with a 0.83 ERA in his last three starts, including a six-inning, two-run outing vs. the Nationals on July 21. … He is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in four-career starts vs. Washington. … He has a 1.48 ERA in 10 starts at Citi Field this season.
Ross Notes: Ross has 34 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings in his rookie season. … He gave up three runs (two earned) in six innings when he faced the Mets on July 21. … Ross has lost his last two decisions, totaling a 3.65 ERA in two July starts.
Mets Notes: The Mets have the fourth-best home record (36-18) in baseball this season. … They are 20-30 when facing teams above .500. … Yoenis Cespedes, who hit .293 with 18 home runs and 61 RBIs with the Tigers, will make his Mets debut. … Kelly Johnson is a career .342 hitter vs. the Nationals.
Nationals Notes: The Nationals are 27-18 vs. NL East teams. … The Nationals and Mets both rank 13th in the National League with 39 stolen bases as a team. … Bryce Harper leads the National League with 29 home runs and ranks third with 68 RBIs. … Jayson Werth is 3 for 14 since returning from the disabled list.
For the first time in awhile, injured David Wright is about to participate in baseball activities for three straight days with rehab games on the horizon.
“Everything’s good. Now it’s a matter of getting the reps without overdoing it,” Wright said. “Incremental steps every day where not only are you doing the baseball thing a number of days in a row but you’re also kind of upping your reps each day. It’s a little bit more on my plate every day and just making sure my body can respond to the baseball things on a daily basis.”
MetsBlog Q&ACast, pres. by Citi: Cerrone and Wiggin break down Cespedes trade
In this week’s MetsBlog Q&ACast, presented by Citi, MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone and Maggie Wiggin break down today’s trade sending Yoenis Céspedes to the Mets…
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Much has been said about what Wilmer Flores has gone through over the last few days. First, he’d been traded to Milwaukee, got emotional on the field and then realized he wasn’t going anywhere and had a game winning home run on Friday night. Well, Flores also has found himself a new fan in new Toronto Blue Jay David Price.
Wilmer Flores has had an emotional week that couldn’t have been scripted with a better ending after his 12th-inning walk-off home run that gave the Mets a crucial 2-1 win against the Nationals on Friday night.
“This kid can’t ever forget this night,” manager Terry Collins said…
His eventful week began Wednesday night, when the Mets and Brewers initially reached an agreement to trade him to Milwaukee. News spread heavily over social media, and when Flores caught wind of it from fans and teammates during the game, he was brought to tears on field in the middle of the game.
The deal, which would sent for OF Carlos Gomez to the Mets, however, fell through and Flores remained with the Mets.
“It’s in the past,” Flores said after Friday’s game. “That’s out of my mind.”
“I just love being in New York,” he told SNY’s Steve Gelbs before getting doused with a bucket of water by teammate Kevin Plawecki.
Flores said he didn’t pay much attention to the news around baseball in advance of Friday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline, during which the Mets acquired OF Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers for two minor league pitchers.
“Words can’t describe what’s been going through his head,” said Matt Harvey. “Everyone on the team is so happy for him.”
The Citi Field crowd, resonating with Flores’s emotional reaction to wanting to remain a Met, gave him a standing ovation each time he came to bat.
“What they did for Wilmer Flores, you will not find that in many places,” Collins said. “That’s why they are great fans here.”
Flores started the game with a diving stop and throw in the first inning, and the crowd erupted and chanted his name.
“It felt great,” Flores said of the prolonged ovation.
He went 2 for 5 with an RBI single in the fourth, but his walk-off home run in the 12th inning made his week all the more poetic.
“You can’t write that,” Collins said. “That’s unbelievable.”
Matthew Cerrone: I’m not ashamed to say it, but I got a lump in my throat, smiling, watching Flores celebrate that home run. It was an incredible moment, given what transpired just a few nights ago. I’m a pretty pragmatic, stoic person, but I get romantic about baseball and nights like this are why I love the game. It’s also what I miss, being forced to debate money, and contracts, and off-field drama endlessly the last five years.
The business side of the game is interesting, but walk-off home runs, guys getting ejected from the game because they care, pitching performances like Harvey’s, nail-biter, important games like Saturday, in July, while in a pennant race, are why I became a fan – and why I love the Mets. This was a great night, and a fun game.
I have a really good feeling about this team and the rest of the season. I don’t know how it will end, but, with the addition of Cespedes, and with this pitching staff, and with the team and fans rallying around Wilmer (using his emotional journey as a positive, not a negative) it’s going to be a fun and wild ride.
The Mets have traded for OF Yoenis Céspedes from the Detroit Tigers, the team announced.
Céspedes is hitting .293 with a .323 OBP and .506 SLG over 102 games in 427 plate appearances this season.
It took until 3:47 pm ET to reach a deal and it wasn’t approved by the league until just before the 4 pm deadline, Sandy Alderson explained to reporters after the deal was announced. He said talks for Cespedes started immediately after the deal fell through with the Brewers for Carlos Gomez.
Cespedes is due to make $4-5 million between now and the end of this season, after which he will be a free agent. According to how his contract was structured, he is not able to be extended a qualifying offer.
According to Alderson, the Mets will not be getting any money to cover Cespedes’s contract in the deal.
The Mets envision Cespedes playing left field, Alderson said. They will address how to handle Michael Cuddyer, who had been the team’s starting left fielder, when he returns from the disabled list.
The Mets will send minor league pitchers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa to the Tigers in the deal, the team said. Fulmer was ranked the team’s No. 7 prospect, and Cessa was the No. 16 prospect, according to a mid-year list from MLB.com.
July 31, 4:06 pm: Cespedes is a better fit for this lineup than Carlos Gomez. That said, forgive me, but until I see him in a Mets uniform, it’ll be hard to believe this actually went down (given what happened the other night). The best part is they got this caliber hitter without giving up Wheeler! That’s awesome. This is a terrific move, especially at the expense of only two minor leaguers. I like Fulmer. He’s going to be very good. But, again, like I said after the Gomez deal, the time to win is now. This division is ripe for the taking. The Mets needed a power hitter like this. And, I’m glad Sandy Alderson stepped up to bring in a legitimate player.
Yoenis Céspedes Career Stats
Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off home run in the 12th inning as the Mets beat the Nationals, 2-1, Friday at Citi Field.
Flores, who received a standing ovation before each at-bat, hit a 1-1 pitch from Felipe Rivero over the left-centerfield fence to give the Mets the win and bring them within two games of first place in the NL East.
Harvey, who took a perfect game into the sixth, struck out nine in 7 2/3 innings, giving up four hits and one run. The Mets had a 1-0 lead with two outs in the eighth, but Harvey hit Clint Robinson in the foot with a pitch. Anthony Rendon followed with an infield single to third to bring up Yunel Escobar, who singled through the middle to tie the game at 1.
Terry Collins then brought in Tyler Clippard, who struck out Jayson Werth in a 13-pitch at-bat to escape the two-on, two-out jam. Jeurys Familia pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, Hansel Robles tossed a scoreless 11th and Carlos Torres (4-4) had a 1-2-3 12th inning.
The Mets (53-50) made Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez labor, as he left the game in the fifth inning after throwing 105 pitches.
The Mets and Nationals play the second game of a three-game series Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
Jacob deGrom (10-6, 2.05 ERA) takes the mound for the Mets and will face Joe Ross (2-3, 3.03 ERA).