ATLANTA – With Yoenis Cespedes out indefinitely with a hamstring injury and no timetable set for his return, there are many who feel the the New York Mets offense will struggle with the loss. With 31 homers and 86 RBI a season ago, it is easy to understand those concerns. But outside of an extended loss of the Cuban superstar, the play of Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores should better offset the loss of Cespedes this season.
When the Mets acquired Bruce last season, the player who appeared was not as advertised. In the 2017 Major League Baseball season, we are seeing a different Jay Bruce. In only 26 games, he has already surpassed his Mets totals of 2016 in home runs and RBI in 50 games. With only 8 homers and 19 RBI a season ago wearing the orange and blue, Bruce hit what would have been his 10th homer in last night’s game against the Atlanta Braves, driving in what would have been RBIs 23 and 24 before the game was rained out. The production of Bruce in the middle of the lineup can offset the loss of Cespedes.
But Bruce can’t do it alone. With a total of 21 career home runs coming into the 2017 season, Michael Comforto showed a lot of potential that he is realizing early in the season. Comforto has 7 homers and 18 RBI through the first 24 games of the season and may have the breakout season predicted by many.
With FanRag Sports Network’s Jon Heyman speculating that Cespedes may be out longer than originally expected after the star said “this one hurts” in response to an injury that he usually doesn’t make a big deal about, the Mets will need others to step up. But with the real Jay Bruce producing and Comforto showing promise, the team is in much better shape to absorb a short-term loss of the bat of Cespedes.
The Mets (12-15) return to Citi Field tonight to open a three-game series against the Miami Marlins (12-15).