Infielder Gavin Cecchini made his first Minor League Baseball rehab start back in a stadium he’s played at before. In a Cyclones uniform, Cecchini swung at the second pitch he saw, doubling to left center field in Sunday’s 11-1 loss to the Staten Island Yankees (New York Yankees, Single-A Short Season).
“This is one of the best minor league atmospheres and facilities that you guys are going to play in. So, this is what it’s all about. This is awesome, so there are not many times you can play in the minor leagues in a big league city like this,” said Cecchini.
Cecchini is familiar with Brooklyn as he played there back in 2012 before climbing his way up to the minors and making his major league debut with the New York Mets in 2016. His only home run in a Mets uniform came against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
During his tenure with the Mets, Cecchini had a slash line of .217/.270/.301/.571 in ‘16 and 2017. In 36 games he had 18 hits and nine RBIs.
After a brief stint in the majors, Cecchini, plagued with a quad and then a foot injury was DFA’d and sent back down to AAA Syracuse.
“My body feels great; just get my timing back and everything. Today was a good first step. It was my first game I played nine innings, and I would say, cause last year I was hurt all of last year, seven months, so spring training, you don’t play nine innings you play six innings and someone switches out,” said Cecchini. “And then obviously I was hurt at the beginning of the year until now. So it felt good to get out there and play nine innings and get some good swings and make some plays.”
With a scheduled off day for the Cyclones on Monday, he is set to play Tuesday and Wednesday after going one for four, playing at short.
Cecchini was drafted by the Mets back in the first round of the 2012 draft. The infielder tore his quad during spring training this season,
Despite a new coaching staff from when Cecchini last played with the Cyclones, Manager Edgardo Alfonzo worked with him before in Port St. Lucie, the Class-A Advanced affiliate for the New York Mets. About Checchini, Alfonzo said, “just let me know whatever he needs.”
“I know what he was going through. This is bad when you get hurt, especially in the early in the season, early in spring, they count on you and the minute they don’t count on you, so you’ll have to work a little extra… So I think he’s been doing a great job since spring training, he’s handling himself very well. He’s a good player. So you know, he, wherever he plays, he’s gonna perform.”