Yoenis Céspedes Didn’t Show Up For Sunday’s Ballgame But Team Personnel Don’t Believe He’s In Danger

Yoenis Céspedes prepares for a game
Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Céspedes didn’t show up for his team’s game on Sunday morning. New York Newsday reporter Tim Healey reported on Twitter shortly after the franchise’s game began that Céspedes wasn’t out of the lineup for a normal day of rest. Instead, he was scratched because he never showed up to the ballpark.

“As of game time, Yoenis Céspedes has not reported to the ballpark today,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement.

“He did not reach out to management with any explanation for his absence. Our attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful.”

Kevin Manahan of NJ.com wrote that the outfielder has been struggling so far this season. It’s not clear if his struggles have something to do with his absence.

Ken Rosenthal later tweeted that members of the team’s front office had no reason to believe Céspedes was in danger before his disappearance. At the same time, because the player hadn’t been in contact with anyone from the front office or his manager, the Mets were still left in the dark about where he was and why he hadn’t come to the stadium.

Céspedes was last seen by members of the squad on Saturday night when he played and started in a 7-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. In that contest, he went 0-5 and dropped his average to 0.161 for the season.

Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets looks on from the dugout
  Elsa / Getty Images

The outfielder is returning to playing full time after missing all of 2019 with various injuries. Céspedes hasn’t been able to appear in more than 81 games since 2016, when he appeared in 132.

The Cuban import has suffered from various maladies almost from the beginning of his Major League career.

Manager Luis Rojas told the media he had planned to give Céspedes the day off on Sunday in part because of his struggles at the plate. There are some around the squad who believed it was possible he didn’t come to the stadium because he knew he wasn’t playing at all. However, the Mets did not give him permission to stay at the team hotel while his teammates went to the park.

Earlier in the day, Rojas said the off-day shouldn’t be seen as a permanent demotion for Céspedes. Rojas added that the team would continue getting him enough plate appearances to try and help him turn things around.

Healey later wrote that it wasn’t clear just when things escalated to the point where Céspedes decided to go AWOL. There were no indications after Saturday’s loss that he had taken the news of sitting a day any harder than normal.