Yoenis Cespedes gets wish to play center field

NEW YORK -- A day after Yoenis Cespedes told New York Mets manager Terry Collins he prefers center field to a corner spot, the newly acquired outfielder got his wish.

Cespedes will start in center field for the Mets on Sunday night against the Washington Nationals. He is flanked by Kelly Johnson in left field and Curtis Granderson in right field.

Cespedes has appeared in 75 major league games in center field, but none since July 28, 2014 with the Oakland Athletics. It was his primary position in his native Cuba.

"I'm pretty confident," Collins said about Cespedes' center-field proficiency. "I mean, he was pretty adamant that he could play center field when I asked him about it."

Collins' intention, at least assuming Cespedes looks fine in center field, is to have him start there versus right-handed pitching. Juan Lagares will start against southpaws, including Tuesday's game in Miami against left-hander Brad Hand.

Asked if the spacious outfield at Marlins Park might dissuade him from using Cespedes in center field in the other two games of that upcoming series, Collins said: "I don't know yet. We'll find out more tonight, when the game is over. Anything can happen. I don't have any other answers for you except we're hoping that he's comfortable out there. This is a big ballpark. We'll see how it goes tonight and we'll address it tomorrow."