New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes suffered a fractured right ankle in a “violent fall” at his Florida ranch on Saturday, greatly diminishing the veteran outfielder’s chances of returning this season.
“He had a violent fall in which he stepped in a hole and put his leg and foot in a difficult position,” Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Monday (via ESPN).
Cespedes suffered multiple fractures in the incident, according to Van Wagenen. The general manager noted that the injury occurred during an activity that was not baseball-related, but said it did not involve a fall off a horse. He declined to speculate on Cespedes’s contract status.
The 33-year-old Cespedes hasn’t played since July 2018, when the team announced he would be undergoing surgery on both heels. The Mets were hopeful that Cespedes would start to play again some time after this year’s all-star break, but Van Wagenen said (via MLB.com) it was “hard to speculate” on what the new injury would mean going forward.
On Monday, Van Wagenen also said the Mets had called a meeting of players and members of the coaching staff earlier in the day (via SNY) to make it clear that “the front office and the entire ownership group has support of Mickey Callaway as our manager — Mickey is our manager now, Mickey is our manager going forward."
“He has our full support to lead this team for the foreseeable future,” Van Wagenen said of the embattled second-year manager, who has presided over a 20-25 start after going 77-85 in 2018.
The Mets began a four-game home series against the Washington Nationals on Monday. They entered Monday’s game coming off a six-game road trip in which they went 1-5 versus the Nats and Marlins, including two straight shutouts in Miami.
During the series against the Marlins, Callaway took some criticism for twice defending second baseman Robinson Cano, who failed to run hard on ground balls in two of the three games. The 36-year-old Cano, who was not in the Mets’ starting lineup Monday, told reporters, “This is not Mickey’s fault. … You can put the best lineup, as a manager, on paper, but we have to perform on the field.”
“He understands that it’s unacceptable to not run balls out,” Callaway said Monday of Cano. “He understands that he needs to do that at all times.”
Cespedes, whose ranch is located near the Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., traveled to New York to be evaluated, Van Wagenen said.
“We’ve tried not to put a timeline on Ces’ rehab from the previous surgeries,” the general manager said. “He was making progress … but he was still a number of thresholds away before he was going to be able to return to activity."
A two-time all-star, Cespedes sparked talk of improbable NL MVP honors after he was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Mets in 2015 and helped lead New York to a World Series appearance. He became a free agent following that season and signed a three-year, $75 million contract to stay with the Mets, but the deal contained an opt-out clause that Cespedes exercised after the 2016 season. He then agreed with the team on a four-year pact worth $110 million.
Both contracts were negotiated on Cespedes’s behalf by Van Wagenen, before the latter switched in October from being a player agent to a general manager. The first three years of the outfielder’s $110 million deal have seen a variety of injuries, and Monday’s news prompted speculation that his career may be in jeopardy.
“Our focus currently is to try to get him the best medical care,” Van Wagenen said Monday, “and then hopefully get a better idea of what this means for his future, both in 2019 and beyond.”