The New York Mets aren’t going to release Robinson Cano. They may also not find a good enough trade return to move J.D. Davis. Where does this leave them with this pair?
The DH is probably coming to the National League no matter how much we yell at the clouds above our heads. Mets fans have been ready for it for a couple of years now. The thought has, for a while now, been how well-equipped they are to immediately fill the role. And while they could still add someone from the outside, the idea of a Cano/Davis platoon at the DH spot has me intrigued if only for how realistic it could be.
A Mets platoon of Robinson Cano and J.D. Davis at the DH spot ain’t so bad
It’s nobody’s first choice, really. I think everyone would prefer to see the Mets annihilate free agency or the trade market and put a big bopper onto the club to take four or five trips to the plate a game and focus only on hitting.
This may not end up happening. The Mets have shown a tendency to prefer players with versatility. Mark Canha and Starling Marte can play all three outfield positions. Eduardo Escobar is a third baseman but also a second baseman as well.
Cano and Davis match up well from a handedness perspective. Cano, the lefty, would ideally get regular at-bats against right-handed pitchers. Davis, the righty swinger, would start every game when a southpaw is on the mound.
When Davis first came to the Mets, he did it with a reputation as someone who can mash lefties. He has turned into a more balanced hitter, batting .273/.353/.443 versus righties and .268/.356/.452 versus lefties. Cano’s career numbers are so detailed because of how long he has been around that I’m not even quite sure what we can expect from him in 2022. Nevertheless, it’s an experiment the team could explore at the start of the season with a plan to eventually name a winner.
The franchise has been one of the more accepting of platoons in the past. The Art Shamsky/Ron Swoboda platoon in 1969 is one of the more famous. In 1986, the Mets won another World Series with Lenny Dykstra and Mookie Wilson regularly sharing center field duties.
Platoons aren’t quite as strict as they used to be. Sometimes a temporary plan, it’s a way to preview who is about to have a good year and who is about to have a great one.
With Cano and Davis, it’s tough to really know what’s in store for either. If both are on the roster for Opening Day (Davis the less likely one) then maybe some shared at-bats as the DH is something to implement.