Cespedes' quad injury flares up

Outfielder not in lineup, but pinch-hits in 7th

Cespedes' quad injury flares up

NEW YORK -- A day after crushing a go-ahead, two-run homer off the facing of Citi Field's second deck in left field, Yoenis Cespedes was out of the lineup with the same right quad injury that has affected him since before the All-Star break.

Cespedes missed four games earlier this month due to the strained quad, which subsequently prompted his full-time move from center field to left. But that shift has not allowed him to stay as healthy as the Mets had hoped. After Wednesday's loss to the Cardinals, Cespedes told manager Terry Collins that his quad muscle flared up during the game.

Through a public relations staffer, Cespedes declined comment Thursday morning on his injury. Alejandro De Aza filled in at left field in the series opener vs. the Rockies, while Cespedes came on to pinch-hit in the seventh inning of New York's 2-1 loss, and was promptly intentionally walked.

Collins said it could be more than a one-day absence for Cespedes, who has battled through wrist, hip and leg injuries at various points this season. Overall, Cespedes is batting .297 with a team-high 21 home runs, including Wednesday's shot that temporarily gave the Mets the lead.

"He's a huge piece," Collins said. "You take those home runs and those RBIs out of our lineup and it's tough to replace him."

With both Cespedes and infielder Jose Reyes (left intercostal strain) unavailable, the Mets played Thursday's game with a three-man bench. But the team does not have any imminent plans to place either player on the disabled list, in part because it will have the benefit of a designated hitter in five consecutive games in American League parks starting on Wednesday.

The Mets have played large swaths of this season shorthanded due to their hesitancy to place players such as Cespedes, Juan Lagares, David Wright and Lucas Duda on the DL at the initial time of their injuries.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.