For the majority of the 24 games since he returned, cautiously, from a nagging hamstring injury in early June, all the way up to Friday’s four-hit, five-tool performance against the Rockies, Yoenis Cespedes played with a protective strap pressed around his left thigh. Its function was to hold what’s been Cespedes’ most balky body part in place and keep him on the field, even as it continued to compromise the outfielder’s ability to run.

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