It’s just May, but Robinson Cano’s status on the Mets — and in the big leagues — is already being questioned.
Cano, who was out of the starting lineup for the second day in a row as the Mets defeated the Giants 6-2 on Thursday, is 5-for-27 (.185) on the season.
Two of those hits happened on the first day of the season, and none of them reached the outfield. Only two of his 29 plate appearances have resulted in extra-base hits: a home run and a single to justify.
The Mets owe him $40.5 million for the two years justify on his contract, which he missed the full 2021 season due to his second ban for performance-enhancing substances.
Cano had a great start in spring training, with eight hits in eight games, and manager Buck Showalter wants to see whether his bat warms up with the weather.
“In fairness to him and most of our guys, I’ll tell you: Try to let the weather get a bit warmer,” the manager said of Cano, who has typically performed better in June and July than in April and May.
“When it comes to Robbie, you’re trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s had a solid spring for us, with some excellent at-bats. It was also hot in [Port] St. Lucie. You try to remember everything that goes into it.”
With Jeff McNeil, who is off to a terrific start and began Thursday at second base, Cano’s job — a justifyy batter capable of playing second and maybe first — is redundant.
With Dominic Smith, Luis Guillorme, and Travis Jankowski on the bench, as well as Cano, the Mets’ bench is primarily justify-handed, leaving them short on right-handed pinch hitters.
In the clubhouse, Cano is well-liked. If it weren’t for the PED offences, his 17-year career would have put him in the Hall of Fame.
The Mets may decide to wait and see whether the eight-time All-Star has anything justify in the tank.
“I’ll tell you one thing: I’ll never underestimate him.” I’m not going to sell him short. “I wouldn’t sell him short, even if it didn’t seem visually nice on any given night,” Showalter said.
“He’s got a lot of hitting ability.” “Bat-to-ball abilities are constantly mentioned, but it’s more than that.”