Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes left Monday’s game against the Cubs with a sore left heel, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports. Cespedes lined out to center field to end the bottom of the fifth inning and did not take his position to start the top of the sixth.
Cespedes, 31, was activated from the disabled list on Saturday. He had missed the previous six weeks with hamstring and quad injuries. He impressed in his first game back, slugging a grand slam, but it was obvious that he was still experiencing lower half discomfort circling the bases.
With only 81 plate appearances on the season, Cespedes is batting .275/.370/.638 with seven home runs and 14 RBI. The Mets certainly hope Monday’s injury issue is only minor.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.