New York Mets have a Robinson Cano dilemma on the diamond
The New York Mets are giving Robinson Cano a bigger role than he has earned with the club.
What are the New York Mets to do with Robinson Cano?
After a weekend of adjusting to watching live baseball again and taking a break from watching the news, I was a little disappointed in what I saw from my Mets squad. They looked lethargic and not ready for the shortened 2020 season. The mighty Yanks just toyed with them for 18 innings and it was not a pretty sight.
Yes, there were a few positives to come out including Pete Alonso’s continued evolution into becoming an above-average fielder at first base, Amed Rosario with a couple of extra-base hits to go along with some steady defense, a slimmed-down Jeurys Familia pitching a great inning and Tomas Nido showing off his defensive abilities behind the plate.
But other than that, the rest was hard to fathom. Especially the play of our high priced, over the hill, second basemen Robinson Cano.
Right away he showed his ineffectiveness in the field by not smothering a hard hit ball that was hit to second base, allowing a run to score in the 1st inning on Saturday. It wasn’t technically an error, but for someone who prides himself on being one of the greatest defensive second basemen of all time, he should have at least knocked that ball down and saved the run from scoring.
Then in the game Sunday, he made a nice play going up the middle on a ground ball, but instead of eating the ball and keeping the runner at first, he tried to be flashy and threw the ball away for a two-base error. Put that together with his 1 for 7 at the plate and it was not what I was hoping to see from Cano.
In one at-bat he was made to look extremely silly by striking out on three pitches that were all out of the strike zone. Honestly, it gave the appearance of not wanted to be out there and not being ready. Can someone remind Mr. Cano that the regular season starts on Friday?
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Then, there is the 800-pound elephant in the room in regards to the Mets batting lineup. As I anticipated, Robinson Cano was batted third in the lineup.
Yes, I totally understand that it was a preseason game and since Cano missed some time and you want to get him as many at-bats as possible, but I do think that Cano will open the season batting third in the everyday regular Mets lineup (which I think is the wrong decision based on Cano’s results last year and the plethora of other great options we have to bat third this season).
This was actually discussed on SNY before the game where the common theme was why Cano will start the season being the third hitter in the lineup, but the SNY reporters went on to discuss that this is what BVW wants.
They also discussed that some of the Mets’ front office personal wanted to convert Cano to a super-utility guy that would get time at first base, second base, third base, and designated hitter and how BVW shot that idea down right away.
I am so glad that BVW is listening to players like Cano, instead of the baseball people who are hired to help make these decisions. Personally I think Cano would fit nicely as that super-utility guy which would allow McNeil to return to being the almost everyday second bases and allow Cano to be more productive with fewer at-bats.
With BVW making out the lineup for manager Luis Rojas I am sure he will give Cano every chance to prove he belongs in that important spot in the lineup. Maybe it’s just me, but it does seem like BVW cares more about proving his trade for Edwin Diaz/Robinson Cano was the right move at the expense of the Mets making the playoffs in 2020.
Hopefully, I am wrong about that but let’s see what happens.
This type of BVW nonsense is why I cannot wait for BVW to get fired by whoever eventually purchases the New York Mets. We need a GM that can leave his ego at the door, put together a team that is the best in baseball, and is looking to win at all costs. Not someone looking to hook up his former clients and worried about his image. That $20,000,000 spent on his Stanford buddy Jed Lowrie is not looking so great at the moment.
But back to Robinson Cano, I do hope and pray that he does have a big bounce-back year in 2020.
Remember we have to pay this guy $24 million per year for the next three years. It is a shame that Cano is getting in the way of Jeff McNeil becoming the regular second baseman for the Mets, but works out for this year with the Mets needing McNeil to play third base with J.D. Davis not being ready defensively to take that spot on an everyday basis yet.
We can also anticipate another problem relating to the return of Yoenis Cespedes. I know it is a big if, but if Cespedes, McNeil, Nimmo, and Davis are all healthy and productive and Cano continues to struggle, will BVW actually take Cano out of the lineup? I am going to say no at this moment in time, but stranger things have happened.
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I do think history will end up repeating for the Mets. All we need to do is look back to a couple of previous veteran 2nd baseman we have failed to resurrect including the likes of Roberto Alomar and Carlos Baerga to see how this will probably play out. Not good.