The New York Mets lost back-to-back exhibition games against the New York Yankees over the weekend, 9-3 at Citi Field and 6-0 at Yankee Stadium. One of the talking points surrounding the Mets has been second baseman Robinson Cano hitting third in both games.
Manager Luis Rojas cited Cano missing summer camp practices/intrasquad games as a reason for hitting him in the middle of the order (quotes per Dan Martin of the New York Post).
“With Cano, having him in the middle of the order, we want to get as [many] at-bats as we could get with him missing a little bit of camp,’’ Rojas said of Cano being absent for unspecified reasons during spring training 2.0. “His profile is to hit there in the middle. He showed up in great shape and with his bat, we all feel comfortable he will deliver for us.”
Cano was limited to 107 games last season due to a handful of injuries. He hit .256 and posted a .736 OPS while totaling 13 home runs and 39 RBIs.
Rojas explains how the team’s lineup in these exhibition games isn’t necessarily indicative of what it’ll be when the regular season begins.
“We’re playing a lot of games,’’ Rojas said. “Guys are hitting in different spots in the lineup. We’re just getting guys at-bats. … It’s nothing in particular to do with what we do in the season. We’re not there yet.”
Rojas feels the Mets, who had three hits against the Yankees on Sunday night, “chased a lot of pitches.”
“I’ve said the guys’ timing at the plate has been really good,’’ Rojas said. “Tonight, that wasn’t the case. I thought we chased a lot of pitches. We were late on some fastballs. We only had a few hard-hit balls.”
The Mets open the 2020 Major League Baseball season at home against the Atlanta Braves on Friday.