When Robinson Cano went down with a torn left hamstring on August 5th, it seemed to be a disappointing end to a subpar season. At 36-years old and having dealt with leg injuries all season, there was no reason to expect to see him play second base again this season. Cano has moved quickly through his rehab assignment and expects to return to the Mets on Tuesday.
Robinson Cano's first AB in Brooklyn this evening
He did not get a hit but was able to get down the line 👍 pic.twitter.com/hAdYocbH8z
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 31, 2019
Cano went 2-for-7 during his two games with the Brooklyn Cyclones and was running without any issues. He will join Brandon Nimmo as the latest Mets reinforcement returning from the Injured List. Despite a disappointing first season with the Mets, he had been 10-for-19 in the five games before he injured his hamstring.
Cano or Panik?
With Cano’s return the Mets now have a surplus of second basemen, including Jeff McNeil. With Cano and Joe Panik on the roster McNeil will be relegated to third base and the outfield. Since Panik has joined the Mets, he stabilized the position Cano left empty. As a Met, Panik is batting .260 with eight RBIs and played solid defense, but will likely lose some playing time to Cano.
Joe Panik putting in work on Labor Day. 👊 pic.twitter.com/l81LiKQCmU
— New York Mets (@Mets) September 2, 2019
Cano provides more power and a bigger presence in the Mets lineup. Since Cano has returned ahead of schedule, the Mets are going to be extremely careful with the amount he plays. Panik will still allow the Mets to have a quality bat off the bench and a capable replacement should Cano tweak the hamstring again.
The Lineup They Have Been Waiting For
Inserting a healthy Cano on the roster gives the Mets lineup the depth they have been missing all year. At their potential it could look something like this:
C: Wilson Ramos
1B: Pete Alonso
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Jeff McNeil
SS: Amed Rosario
LF: J.D. Davis
CF: Brandon Nimmo
RF: Michael Conforto
Play with the order as you may, but any combination could match up with any team in baseball. It may be too little, too late, but the Mets are going to give it their best run until they are mathematically eliminated. With a lineup like that, they give themselves a chance to pull off a miracle.