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Mets hopeful rest will awaken Cano's bat

@AnthonyDiComo
April 13, 2019

ATLANTA -- Given his druthers, Robinson Canó would play every day. One hundred and sixty-two games is Cano’s expectation, however unrealistic that may be at age 36. Before the Mets even embarked on their 10-game road swing through Atlanta, Philadelphia and St. Louis, manager Mickey Callaway told Cano that he

ATLANTA -- Given his druthers, Robinson Canó would play every day. One hundred and sixty-two games is Cano’s expectation, however unrealistic that may be at age 36. Before the Mets even embarked on their 10-game road swing through Atlanta, Philadelphia and St. Louis, manager Mickey Callaway told Cano that he would be off Saturday against Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb.

“I don’t like days off, but sometimes you have to go with that,” Cano said.

Unlike white-hot Pete Alonso, who has had two rest days already this season, Cano took a seat in the midst of a cold snap. Over his first 13 games, Cano hit .182 with a .565 OPS. Since blasting a home run in his first at-bat of the season, he’s hit just one other.

Perhaps more troubling, Cano’s hard-hit rate (his percentage of balls in play with exit velocities of 95 mph or higher) has fallen from 51.7 percent in 2018 to 21.4 percent this year, while his strikeout rate has risen from 13.5 to 22.0 percent.

But those are small sample sizes, and perhaps things are changing. In Friday’s win over the Braves, Cano hit three balls of at least 94.5 mph, including a 109.9 mph double to snap an 0-for-10 skid.

“I’m not worried about myself. I know what I can do,” Cano said. “The results are not what I want, but at the plate I feel good. I’ve been in this situation before. It’s a little too early for me to start worrying about numbers or anything. We’re winning, and that’s all that matters.”

Nor are the Mets overly concerned about Cano, whose contract runs through the 2023 season. When asked about Cano’s early-season performance, Callaway called it “as advertised.”

“I’m sure that he would have liked to have swung the bat better at times, but he’s had some big homers for us, some big hits,” Callaway said. “His leadership is off the charts. So he’s an unbelievable piece of this team, and one of the reasons why we’re clicking right now for sure.”

Making progress
Todd Frazier’s rehab from a strained left oblique continues to move slowly. Frazier was scheduled to appear in a third consecutive game Saturday for Class A St. Lucie, marking the second time he’s played in three straight. The Mets continue to paint Frazier’s return as imminent, though the earliest he could reasonably rejoin the team would be Monday in Philadelphia.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.