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22.09.2018

The weird problem within Mets’ magic start: their best hitter.

There are several ways to look at the current situation around Yoenis Cespedes. The Mets outfielder is struggling, hitting .190, well below his weight (220). Now this being New York, there is option No. 1, which is to delve into an all-out, full-fledged panic. He’s done, washed up. Why did they ever re-sign him? Ship...
Time: 19:08     Date: 16.04.2018
Last US Sport News: The weird problem within Mets’ magic start: their best hitter. NY Post 24 - US News

Now this being New York, there is option No. 1, which is to delve into an all-out, full-fledged panic. He’s done, washed up. Why did they ever re-sign him? Ship him out and get whatever you can for him.

Or there is a cool-headed approach, which says he will return and be the hitter his history says he is. The Mets so far have survived his mini-crisis.

“He’s going to be fine and if we’re 12-2 without him swinging the bat very well for the last nine days, we’ll be in pretty good shape,” said hitting coach Pat Roessler before the Mets started their series with the Nationals on Monday at Citi Field, where Cespedes was given a night off from the starting lineup.

Roessler explained Cespedes has been victimized by several factors, not the least of which is the early frigid weather.

“Fully expect when the weather warms up that he will, too,” Roessler said.

Cespedes broke from the gate, going 6-of-22 (.273) with three homers and seven RBIs in his first six games. Over his next eight games — eight homerless games — he went 5-of-39 (.139) with three RBIs. That might work if you are a pitcher.

So manager Mickey Callaway wanted Cespedes to have a mental health day.

CespedesPaul J. Bereswill

“He didn’t like it. He was like, ‘What? Why?’ I was like, ‘I feel like you need it,’ ” Callaway said.

Yeah, that spiffy .139 average is a good indicator.

Neither Roessler nor Callaway seemed overly concerned by Cespedes’ struggles. The slugger needs to be a bit more selective. He has swung at some bad pitches and swung late. And of course he has swung in weather better suited for games involving defenses nicknamed “Doomsday.”

“He got off to a decent start. He’s pressing. He obviously hasn’t swung at pitches he’d like to lately, but I don’t have any problem with him,” Roessler said. “We looked at his swing and there’s not a whole lot different. Of course, it’s been 40 degrees for most of the season.”

Has it really been that warm? And after Sunday’s Citi Field Tribute to Icebergs, Monday seemed like as good an off day as any for Cespedes, who has hit .280 with 68 homers in 284 career games with the Mets.

“I knew one needed to be coming at some point and after last night, the brutal cold and the seemingly bad weather again [Monday], I thought it was a good day,” said Callaway, who shared Roessler’s confidence Cespedes will bounce back.

“He’s put some good swings on some balls,” Callaway said. “His timing’s been off, obviously, but he was just a tad late. He had some really good early BP sessions to try and get right.

Cespedes and Mickey CallawayPaul J. Bereswill

“He’s putting good swings on it, but the timing’s just off. So I think a day off, relax mentally, get refocused and come back tomorrow.”

Can’t hurt.

“It will be good for him. I don’t think he’s had a night off, has he?” Roessler said.

Callaway and Roessler have already gone through the study-the-swing route. Again, what they’ve seen is not cause for panic — even in New York.

“We look at, No. 1, the pitches he’s swinging at. Is he swinging at good pitches? Is he making good contact? Is he just not having any luck?” Roessler said. “Then we’ll look at the video and see if there’s any change in his mechanics stuff. But usually it’s not and if there is, usually it’s very minor and they make adjustments very quick.

“Get him swinging at a better pitch selection and get a little warmer weather and he’ll be fine.”

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