Robinson Cano is having a poor start to his tenure with the New York Mets. In fact, he’s getting outhit by our old friend to the team moved on from, Wilmer Flores.
Just how bad has Robinson Cano’s 2019 season with the New York Mets gone? After not running out what became a double play to end the inning in Sunday’s game, I decided to dive a little deeper into his numbers and compare them to one of the few ex-Mets playing well this season, Wilmer Flores.
Back in November, Flores was non-tendered which set up for his release. Arthritic knees were suggested as the main cause to move on. However, as the Arizona Diamondbacks have discovered this year, the 27-year-old’s bat is still a productive one.
Flores has played plenty of second base for the Diamondbacks this season, making him a good player to compare to Cano. I understand everything surrounding the Cano trade, such as dumping Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak on the Seattle Mariners, but let’s look at this merely for how ineffective he has been.
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Through his first 163 at-bats with the Mets, Cano is hitting .245/.293/.374 with 3 home runs, 13 RBI, and 12 doubles. These are not the numbers you want from your $24 million second baseman.
Meanwhile, out in Arizona, Flores has put together superior numbers. After his first 128 at-bats for the Diamondbacks, Mr. Walk-Off is hitting .281/.326/.398 with a pair of home runs and 14 RBI. His 9 doubles fall just shy of Cano’s total. However, with 14 strikeouts compared to the 35 for Cano, a few fewer two-base hits don’t make up for all of the strike three calls.
Flores isn’t making history nor is he someone the Mets definitely should have kept around. I wanted them to, but also understand the direction they planned to go. Unfortunately, this path involved adding an older and significantly more expensive player who isn’t living up to even the floor of expectations. These are the numbers Cano should have in his fourth or fifth season with the team. In year one, it’s a terrible sign of things to come.
The Cano trade was already controversial for many reasons. It involved sending some notable prospects to the Mariners even though it did bring back Edwin Diaz. One of the biggest complaints we should hear more about is how they acquired a second baseman when they already had Jeff McNeil on the roster. Now, instead of moving forward with him at second base, he’s starting in left field and at third base: two other positions of weakness for the team.
Cano needs to start hitting. He needs to start hitting and he must lead this organization.
My early thoughts of Cano include the word lackadaisical. I understand not running out one questionably foul ball is not the end of the world, the season, or this team’s chances at competing. It’s the second time in the series where you can question his hustle. He’s playing like this year doesn’t matter. The performance is rubbing off on teammates.
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For the fans who live and die with this team, it’s more than a bad look on a team with everything going wrong.