During one of his routine rehab workouts late last week, James McCann was making his way through the usual — catching, throwing, hitting — when he mis-hit a ball and started wondering about his legs, which weren’t quite properly positioned on that particular swing.
Then he had an epiphany: The focus on his legs represented great progress. He wasn’t thinking about his surgically repaired left wrist at all.
That was the moment, McCann said, that he realized he could accelerate toward a minor-league rehabilitation assignment, which will begin Thursday with Double-A Binghamton.
“That was a big step,” he said of the recent realization. “That’s when you can get on the field and do things and they’re not holding a counter on you to see how many swings you’ve taken and shutting it down because I’ve taken X amount of swings today. It was definitely satisfying to get to that point in the rehab process.”
McCann intends for his Binghamton stay to be a brief one and to join the Mets shortly. Manager Buck Showalter wouldn’t say he agreed but didn’t commit to a plan for McCann beyond him playing Thursday.
Either way, it sounds as if McCann will be back well ahead of the initial six-week timetable (June 28) following surgery to address the broken hamate bone in his left wrist.
A key piece of his early post-surgery activity: Keeping his legs in shape by catching — with a mitt on his right hand — as many as six faux innings at a time.
“I get tape on him every day,” said Showalter, who has said for weeks how much he and the Mets miss McCann. “I’m not sure if he sends it or if (bench coach Glenn Sherlock) sends it.”
They voted today
The Mets held their biennial MLB Players Association representative elections Wednesday, choosing McCann as their top rep as well as three alternates: Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso and Edwin Diaz.
Over the offseason, when the union rep gig was a far greater commitment because of the lockout and labor talks, Nimmo and McCann worked in tandem.
Alonso has had an interest in MLBPA goings-on since spring training 2019 — before he was even officially in the union. Now his role is formalized.
“I take pride in what I do, I care about everyone in the clubhouse and I care about people involved in the game,” Alonso said. “It’s a blessing to be a part of the game. I want to do whatever I can to make it better for people that play after me.”
Seeking an extra pitcher, the Mets called up reliever Yoan Lopez and sent outfielder Khalil Lee down to Triple-A Syracuse.
The Mets now have 14 pitchers on the active roster. MLB intends to limit a team’s number of pitchers to 13 as of Monday.
J.D. Davis hit .357 with an .885 OPS over his past 16 games entering Wednesday, a hot streak that some with the Mets viewed as inevitable given the way he hit the ball even when the bottom-line production wasn’t there earlier in the season.
He was out of the lineup for a second day in a row Wednesday as the Mets faced another righthanded starter (reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes) but will start Thursday against lefthander Aaron Ashby, Showalter said.
“With some of the roster adjustments we’ve made, we’ve been able to create more at-bats for him to try to take advantage of some stuff that we knew was going to turn if he kept hitting the ball hard,” Showalter said, referring to season-opening bench bats Robinson Cano and Dominic Smith. “He likes to hit, he likes to compete and he really likes to win. He’s been a good teammate, playing or not playing. Very consistent human being. Comes in every day, same guy.”
Brewers closer Josh Hader, perhaps the best reliever in baseball, went on the paternity list Wednesday, meaning he is out for the series . . . Alonso’s caught stealing Tuesday night — on the back end of an attempted double steal with Francisco Lindor — ruined his perfect record. He now is 7-for-8 in steal attempts across four seasons in the majors . . . As a result of a scoring change from the Mets’ June 8 game against the Padres, --- Davis' drop of a foul pop-up, initially ruled no play was changed to an error — Stephen Nogosek’s ERA dropped from 3.55 to 0.71 . . . Showalter on Nimmo, known to stay late after games to work out and get treatment: “I’ve left here a few nights and he’s still here. I asked him, ‘Is your wife here?’ ‘No, she’s not.’ ‘Good, because if you want to stay married you need to get your butt out of here.’ He’s here forever.”