Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t played in an MLB game since the middle of 2018. With his return coming up and a strong team around him, it makes us wonder, what did the lineup look like the last time La Potencia suited up for the New York Mets?
Yoenis Cespedes last played in a Major League Baseball game on Friday, July 20, 2018, against the crosstown rival New York Yankees. A lot has changed in baseball since then and for the New York Mets organization.
The Mets have pretty much replaced Cespedes and have an overcrowded outfield with or without him. If Cespedes is healthy, or even at 80% of what he once was, it should be a nice problem to have.
The next time Cespedes does suit up for the Mets, it appears he will have some solid guys surrounded around him in the lineup as the team has become deep with depth. We have an idea of what the lineup could look like when Cespedes returns, but what did it look like the last time he played in 2018?
1) Brandon Nimmo
Leading off that day in right field was Brandon Nimmo. Nimmo was in the middle of his breakout season in 2018 as we all know, and yes he did draw a walk that day to no surprise. We could very well see Nimmo in the leadoff spot when Cespedes joins the Mets lineup again, but this time he will likely be in center field.
2) Yoenis Cespedes
The man of topic today was actually hitting second that day. Cespedes, who we usually see in the middle of the order hitting 3rd, 4th, and even 5th sometimes was not in his normal spot that day. He was a DH that day as the game was played in the Bronx and he was just back from another injury. Unfortunately, the Mets plan of DH’ing him to preserve his legs didn’t work well as this was the last game he has played.
3) Asdrubal Cabrera
How could we forget an old familiar face up the middle of the diamond in Asdrubal Cabrera. Although he was always known as a shortstop up to that point in his career, he was manning second base that day. We should still see plenty of Cabrera this year as he is under contract with the Washington Nationals for the 2020 season.
4) Wilmer Flores
One of the biggest, if not the biggest fan favorite for the Mets in the last handful of years, we have Wilmer Flores. Flores was hitting cleanup that day and holding down first base. Flores is still around like the other players mentioned so far, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a utility man, similar to his role with the Amazins.
5) Michael Conforto
Still with the team and with a key role to the team’s success, we have Michael Conforto. Conforto was hitting fifth that day and in left field. Conforto, like Nimmo, was also in the middle of a solid year as he set career highs in home runs and RBI that year. We should see him in a similar spot when Cespedes returns, most likely in right field this time though, but somewhere in the middle of the order.
6) Jose Bautista
I was a little shocked when I found out Jose Bautista was in the same lineup as Cespedes for any game. Bautista’s time in New York was rather short, only playing in 83 games that season. What I found even more interesting was where he played that day, which was third base. Bautista did play third base when he first came up but then moved to the outfield when he burst onto the scene in Toronto. Bautista has not played since that 2018 season, but he is apparently trying to return as a pitcher and become a two-way player.
7) Devin Mesoraco
Another guy I was shocked that played with Cespedes was catcher Devin Mesoraco. Similar to Bautista, Mesoraco’s time in New York was rather short too, as he only played in 66 games. He ended up retiring after Spring Training in 2019 when he failed to make the big league club with the Mets again.
8) Amed Rosario
Next up we have the current and possible shortstop of the future. Amed Rosario was still only under a year into his major league career at this point. Rosario was at shortstop that day as he took over for Cabrera when he was called up. Rosario will most definitely be at shortstop again when Cespedes returns and lower in the order where he was that day, or possibly in the one or two-hole.
9) Matt den Dekker
In the last spot, we have a bit of a surprise with Matt den Dekker. den Dekker only played in 8 games that season and one of them happened to be Cespedes’ last one. den Dekker ended up playing for the Long Island Ducks in 2019 and ended up retiring from professional baseball after.
The starting pitcher that day was Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard is still around now obviously and should still be when Cespedes does return, the only question is will Syndergaard start that game.
Coming in right Syndergaard in relief was Seth Lugo. Lugo was brought in to eat a few innings as Syndergaard only lasted 5 innings that day. Just like many of the other guys listed we should see Lugo when Cespedes returns, it is just a matter of will he come out of the pen that specific day he returns.
Following Lugo, the next and last man to pitch for the Mets day was Robert Gsellman. Gsellman ended up pitching 2 innings and earning the save that day. There is a chance that Gsellman could not be with the team when Cespedes returns as it appears he has the “revolving door” spot in the bullpen. If he can keep up his strong spring and carry it into the season we should expect him there though.
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What did you think the lineup looked like the last time Yoenis Cespedes played?