With the Mets having traded a majority of their veteran players from the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Yoenis Cespedes is now a senior member of this squad. He has embraced this role.
With a fresh look team, including a new manager, a new coaching staff and new faces such as Todd Frazier and Adrian Gonzalez, a mindset has been instilled in the Mets: Be accountable and do your job.
“Everybody is doing their thing that is important to the team, and that is what we are going to have to do during the season,” Cespedes said after the win Thursday according to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. “We have the talent and the quality. We just have to work on the strike zone to choose better pitches and to make better swings.”
This is a notion that has been put forth by hitting coach Pat Roessler who worked under the tutelage of Kevin Long the last few seasons.
Long is gone, but Roessler is trying to instill in his players the same values and tendencies.
To be successful, Cespedes knows what he has to do.
“I have to focus when I have men on base,” he said through interpreter Carlos Guillen. “I have to focus more.”
Cespedes hit No. 2 on Thursday, where in today’s game, is typically where your strongest hitter bats.
It paid great dividends for the slugger, who notched two hits and drove in three runs en route to a Mets 9-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
With Amed Rosario batting in the No. 9 spot, it lengthens the order and gives players like Cespedes a chance to drive runs in more frequently.
We saw this at the forefront Thursday when the Mets pounded 12 hits and went 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
“We tried to stay with the game plan, try not to chase pitches out of the zone,” Adrian Gonzalez said. “Gotten better and better every day.”
For Gonzalez, Cespedes and the rest of the Mets, it will be interesting to see how this new year will develop and how Callaway’s mindset will play out over a full season.