If Robinson Cano is going to remain in the lineup, the New York Mets are going to need him to shine in 2020.
The 2020 season will be one unlike any other for not only the New York Mets but also all of the other teams in Major League Baseball. The season is no longer a marathon, but a sprint and the only thing to be expected is the unexpected. In a season like this, the addition of Robinson Cano prior to the 2019 season will prove to be a valuable one.
Cano is the elder statesman of the Mets, and at the age of 37 brings a litany of experience to the table that will be considered valuable. Looking strictly at his statistics, the premise of starting the season at a later time should benefit Cano.
Over the course of his career, he has been a player that has performed better as the season has progressed. Lifetime, he has hit .308 in July .313 in August, and .320 in September and October. While this is far from a traditional season, the fact that the season will be played during months when Cano is historically a good hitter is a promising concept.
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With rumors of an expanded postseason potentially coming to the season, this leaves extra room for a talented Mets squad to participate in a historic postseason run.
A quick look around the roster shows that the Mets don’t possess a ton of postseason experience in the infield. This is where Cano could prove vital.
Although he is not the only infielder in the 60-player pool that has a World Series ring (Matt Adams and Eduardo Nunez are also in that club) Cano by far has the most experience of them. In total, he has 217 postseason plate appearances, highlighted by a monstrous 2010 ALCS that saw him slash a .348 batting average, a .913 slugging percentage, and five home runs.
This type of elite playoff experience should help Cano prepare the members of the lineup who have not sniffed the postseason so far in their career. He’ll be able to attest to the new pressure that comes with the playoffs, as well as impart on them what it takes to be a champion.
Any way you slice it, the arrival of Cano to the Mets in 2019 was an overwhelming disappointment. With a uniquely clean slate in front of him in 2020, Cano has a fantastic opportunity to endear himself to the Flushing faithful.
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While Pete Alonso has proved himself as the de-facto leader amongst the position players, Cano will bring an invaluable veteran presence that could be pivotal to the success of the season.