The Mets have placed Robinson Cano back on the 10-day injured list due to a strained left quad, as reported by several media outlets (including Newsday’s Tim Healey). Right-hander Tim Peterson’s contract has been selected from Triple-A to take Cano’s spot on the active roster, thus giving the Mets 39 players on their 40-man roster.
After returning from a 12-game IL absence due to a previous quad strain on June 5, Cano almost immediately re-aggravated the injury while running out a grounder. Cano didn’t play any rehab games during his previous IL stint, though Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that one will be required this time around, as the Mets want to ensure that Cano is fully ready to go once he is eligible to come off the injured list.
While the quick return to the IL is undoubtedly frustrating to Cano, it’s possible the 36-year-old could see it as an unofficial restart to what has been a subpar 2019 season. Cano has hit .238/.284/.366 (career lows in all three slash categories) with three home runs over 183 plate appearances. His hard-hit ball metrics on Statcast indicate some level of bad luck, with a .324 xwOBA that is well above his real-world .284 wOBA, though obviously a .324 number isn’t exactly cause for celebration.
It’s also possible that Cano has simply needed some adjustment time to NL pitching after spending his previous 14 seasons in the American League, though the specter of a mid-30’s decline certainly can’t be ruled out — a scary scenario for the Mets, given that Cano is still owed well over $100MM through the 2023 season (though the Mariners will cover $15MM of that remaining salary).
With Cano out, Jeff McNeil is likely to continue seeing the bulk of action at second base, opening up some more time in left field for the hot-hitting Dominic Smith. Adeiny Hechavarria is available on the bench as further middle infield depth.