Yoenis Cespedes was part of a group of Mets outfielders (Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, and Michael Conforto among them) tracking fly balls in the outfield on Wednesday as he continues his progression toward a return.
Cespedes participated in the Mets' first full squad workout earlier this week but broke off to do individual work with the performance staff when the rest of the outfielders split up into two groups. Wednesday was different.
It should be noted that the other outfielders in Cespedes' group on Wednesday seemed to be getting balls hit to them that were farther away/tougher to track than Cespedes' were, but there is plenty of time for that to ramp up.
Cespedes (who has been a participant every day) has already been cleared offensively, has been partaking regularly in live batting practice, and is running. So adjusting to tracking, cutting, and eventually sprinting while playing the outfield seems like the last thing he needs to do to prove he's healthy enough to return to game action.
While it doesn't seem likely that Cespedes will be ready to play the outfield by the time the Mets open their Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday, he appears to be on the right track.
Cespedes has been preparing for the season for over three months, and has not looked slowed at all by the dual heel surgeries and ankle surgery that have kept him out of action for the better part of the last two seasons.
It's obvious what a healthy Cespedes could mean for the Mets. But before that turns into a reality, he'll need to show not only that he can handle playing the outfield, but that he can do so for nine innings at a time. And Wednesday was another step in the right direction.