Cespedes (hip) was put on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Monday. An MRI on Tuesday revealed the injury - picked up on May 6 - but the Mets chose to pull him from the lineup, stating he was available to pinch hit.
Cespedes initially suffered the injury May 6 against the Rockes.
Manager Mickey Callaway said he would only use Cespedes as a pinch hitter on Tuesday if the game was on the line. "He was improving while he was playing, and that kind of stopped". The 32-year-old was limited to 81 games last season due to leg injuries after signing a $110 million, four-year contract in November 2016.
While Cespedes is eligible to return as soon as May 24, Callaway said "nobody can predict" when the slugger might be back in the lineup. He could have continued to gut it out, continue to play.
Cespedes is hitting.255 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs this season. "It's just wear and tear on the body through the major league season that everybody goes through".
Phillip Evans has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas and will start in left field against Toronto on Wednesday. The infielder opened the year with the team and had three at-bats before being sent down in which he went 0-3 with a strikeout.