Yoenis Cespedes recently told the Mets he'd be willing to learn to play first base, and he played nine innings at the position on Wednesday in his third rehab game (while hitting a three-run homer), keeping him on track for a potential return Friday against the Yankees in the Bronx.
Cespedes had already been taking ground balls at first base, and the situation was addressed last week by Mickey Callaway, who said the expectation was that Cespedes would return as a left fielder.
I've seen Cespedes often taking ground balls at third base and shortstop during spring training and before games. He's adept with the glove and we know he has a terrific arm. But, I have no idea how he'd handle the unique footwork, stretching and understanding of situational positioning that comes with playing first base.
A source told Sherman that the outfielder believes a move to first base might lessen the strain on his legs, which has been the source of Cespedes missing roughly 30 percent of the team's games since he was acquired in 2015.
Cespedes first went on the disabled list this season with a hip flexor issue 58 days ago. However, he suffered a quad injury just before nearing a return in June.
Sandy Alderson later described the hip issue as 'chronic,' which is the same word John Ricco recently used to describe the current debilitating pain in Yo's heel.
Nevertheless, he could be on the verge of a return to the Mets. Could it be as a first baseman?