In a season where the motto so far has been to "let the kids play," New York Mets fans have been getting impatient watching struggling veterans get starts over the younger prospects.
While it is far too early to panic and cut ties with these players, the Mets coaching staff needs to continue to properly assess their team if they want to catch up in the NL East. Part of that is recognizing which players are beginning to regress, and the prime culprit of that so far has been Mark Canha.
Mark Canha is showing signs of a decline amidst a rough season for the Mets
After being an important fixture in the Mets lineup throughout 2022, Mark Canha has taken a massive step back to start this season. Now 34 years old, Canha has seen his batting average drop to .230, with an OBP below .300 for the first time since 2017. His role as an everyday starter come to a halt, with Buck Showalter looking elsewhere on his bench for some offense.
Part of Canha's struggles this season can be attested to his mentality change at the plate, where he claimed he was trying to hit for more power this season. So far, not only has he not been able to increase his home run count, but the approach has led to a decline in walks. One year removed from recording 76 combined walks and HBPs, Cahna has a measly 14 through 43 games. With a slugging percentage nearly 40 points below last season as well, the new approach has clearly not worked for the Mets so far.
Now that the Mets young talent is finally getting a chance to shine, time might be starting to run out on some veterans who appear to be on the decline. With a $9 million club option for next season, this might be the last season fans see Mark Canha in a Mets uniform unless he can turn it around.