Will the Mets ever move Robinson Cano to the bench?
There were extended periods during the 2019 season when the Mets probably should have cut down on Robinson Cano’s playing time. The veteran second baseman struggled at the plate for a large chunk of the season. With several more than capable replacements, the team may have been in better shape sitting him due to performance.
I do think we’ll see Cano take a seat a little more often in 2020. His body is breaking apart and to at least keep him on the field and off of the IL, extra rest could pay off. This wouldn’t constitute as benching, however. This is load-management for an aging playing.
There’s no reason to believe the Mets would even think about making Cano a part-time playing at this point. He’s taking home far too much money for them to stash it on the bench. This isn’t a knock against the franchise either. Any team should look at their $20+ million players as starters going into the year.
It’s in the middle of the season when things can change. If things get rough enough where the team is better served with Jeff McNeil playing second base on a more regular basis, it’s a move they need to make.
The chances of seeing Cano benched for a prolonged period of time are slim. I think it’s even less likely with Carlos Beltran as the new manager. He’s practically a peer of Cano’s. I don’t see him bringing down the hammer hard on Cano for not hustling or even suffering through a slump.
Perhaps the bigger question is whether or not the Mets drop him down in the order. Far more likely, the reward of putting Cano in a lesser role may significantly improve the ball club by allowing better hitters more opportunities.