New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes wants to swing his way out of an early season slump, but with his golf clubs rather than his bat.
"One of the things that I did before, years ago, when I was in a slump, was playing golf and trying to get out of my slump," Cespedes told reporters through an interpreter after Friday's 5-3 win against the Atlanta Braves. "I said this season I wouldn't go to play golf. So one of the things that I'm doing now, that I didn't do before, is watching the videos. That's something different I'm doing right now. But unfortunately, it's not going too well so far."
Cespedes and the Mets took some backlash for his golf habit in 2016, when he played 18 holes hours before landing on the disabled list with a lingering right quadriceps injury. The team came to a "mutual agreement" with Cespedes' representatives that he would refrain from playing golf, with general manager Sandy Alderson saying it was "bad optics."
Two seasons later, with Cespedes hitting just .208 after striking out four times prior to his game-winning single in the 12th inning Friday night, the outfielder thinks golf might be more of a help than a hindrance.
"It wasn't a promise, but one of the things was, I went to play golf in the morning and then I came to play baseball in the afternoon," Cespedes said. "I stopped doing it in the offseason. But I think I'm considering playing golf again."
Cespedes, who has 4 home runs and 18 RBIs, thinks his golf swing might fix what's not currently working at the plate.
"I'm still lost," Cespedes said of his baseball swing. "... Now I'm opening my shoulder wide open. When I was playing golf, I had to keep my hands inside. It helped me a lot."