The imminent return of Yoenis Cespedes to the New York Mets lineup in 2020 means someone loses at-bats. If he starts the season slowly, Robinson Cano should be the one to sit.
At first glance, Robinson Cano and Yoenis Cespedes may not look like platoon partners. They don’t play the same position, but if Cespedes is going to get more at-bats in 2020, Cano should be the one who loses opportunities to play for the New York Mets.
These two once-highly paid Mets—Cespedes hoping to resume getting paid mega-millions—are in a similar spot next season. The major difference is Cespedes has a lot more incentive to play and has already given the Mets some brilliant moments.
Cano, on the other hand, will get paid regardless of what he does on the field. He hasn’t given fans in Flushing much to remember.
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Something I’m sure you’ve realized plenty of times about the Mets roster is how many versatile players they have. Jeff McNeil’s ability to play a variety of positions helps them in a way few men could.
A similar sentiment could be said about J.D. Davis. Although not gifted with the glove, he can play both corner outfield positions and eat up some innings at third base.
McNeil and Davis were two extremely important pieces to the puzzle in 2019. We saw a taste of McNeil in 2018 and learned it was no fluke with what he did in his sophomore season—the first full campaign of his major league career.
Meanwhile, Davis shocked us all with his powerful display combined with an impressive batting average. He’s a young player still in the process of becoming a potential star while a guy like Cano is rolling downhill.
Of course, Cano shouldn’t automatically sit each time Cespedes is in the starting lineup. It goes the other way, too. They should see plenty of chances to hit together in the Mets lineup. However, if we see a repeat of Cano’s 2019 performance, Carlos Beltran cannot hesitate to change things up a little more.
Some days, Davis can play third some days with McNeil taking over at second. Cano would ride pine while Cespedes takes over in left field. On others, the lineup would look more like it did in 2019. Cano would take his familiar spot at second base with McNeil at the hot corner and Davis in left field.
Along with this defensive alignment, McNeil may see some time in right field although this is not preferable.
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Above all else, the Mets need to put the best and not most famous lineup together throughout the 2020 season. This means hurting some feelings, bruising some egos, and winning a few more ball games.