10:41pm: Cano will be on the shelf “until at least mid-August,” DiComo tweets.
6:15pm: The Mets have placed second baseman Robinson Cano on the 10-day injured list due to a Grade 2 left adductor strain and selected the contract of Billy Hamilton, who’ll be on the bench for tonight’s game (Twitter links via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com). DiComo adds that Jeff McNeil (intercostal strain) and Amed Rosario (quad tightness) are both day-to-day.
There’s no telling just how long Cano will be sidelined at this point, but any type of Grade 2 strain (as opposed to a more mild Grade 1 strain) is cause for concern regarding an extended absence. His injury is particularly unfortunate for the Mets given that the 37-year-old had gotten out to a blistering start. In his first 39 plate appearances, Cano was hitting at a torrid .412/.462/.559 clip with a homer and two doubles. While it’s inevitable that he’d have cooled off to some extent, Cano also ranked among the game’s best in terms of hard-hit rate and average exit velocity, and his swinging-strike rate was among the lowest in MLB.
Despite the addition of the designated hitter in the National League, Cano has been the team’s primary second baseman. Yoenis Cespedes had been serving as the regular designated hitter, but he opted out of the remainder of the season over the weekend. With Cano, Jed Lowrie and Jeff McNeil all on the injured list, regular second-base duties for the Mets seem likeliest to fall to top prospect Andres Gimenez and veteran Brian Dozier, who inked a minor league deal late in Summer Camp and was selected to the Mets’ roster last week. Dozier is batting sixth in tonight’s lineup against lefty Patrick Corbin, but the makings of a natural platoon with the left-handed-hitting Gimenez are present. Of course, that’s contingent on Rosario returning to the lineup; Gimenez and Dozier could each draw regular starts as double play partners while Rosario is out.
As for Hamilton, he was acquired over the weekend in a trade that sent recently outrighted reliever Jordan Humphreys to the Giants. He’ll jump right onto the Mets’ big league roster and provide some speed and elite glovework off the bench. Brandon Nimmo is still lined up for everyday work in center, and he’ll be flanked by J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto to begin most games. Hamilton’s role is perhaps the same role the Mets envisioned for offseason acquisition Jake Marisnick, but he’s currently on the injured list with a hamstring strain.