Robinson Cano got to come back to New York before the 2019 season after the Mets acquired him in a blockbuster deal with the Mariners. This season he got to be reunited with one of his closest friends from that first stint in the Big Apple: Melky Cabrera.
Cano and Cabrera were two of the young fan favorites on the Yankees when they won the 2009 World Series. Cabrera was signed as a free agent at the end of June and the Mets hope he can be a key player off the bench in the outfield. Last season he slashed .280/.313/.399 for Pittsburgh.
“I'm just happy to have him here. We’re united again,” Cano said in his first interview since missing eight straight days of summer camp, one in which he said he would be ready for Opening Day in a week. “The goal here is to win a championship and it would be great to win another championship together.”
Cano and Cabrera were on the same side in Thursday night’s intrasquad scrimmage. Cano was at his usual second base and Cabrera played leftfield.
“It’s good to have him here and I know what he can bring to the table,” Cano said. “He’s a guy with experience that can help the team from both sides of the plate and also in the outfield. He can help this team to win games.”
Michael Wacha couldn’t have performed much better than he did in Thursday night’s intrasquad scrimmage at Citi Field.
The 29-year-old righthander pitched in five “innings” and recorded 19 outs without giving up a hit. The only runner to reach base against him came on a throwing error by first baseman Dom Smith. Wacha recorded four strikeouts and manager Luis Rojas said he eclipsed 80 pitches.
“It’s what you want to see at this point,” Rojas said after the scrimmage.
Wacha did give up some hard-hit balls and 10 of the outs were on balls hit in the air, but Rojas said “we have a lot of good hitters in camp – they make for great competition.”
Wacha, signed as a free agent in the offseason to take a spot in the back end of the rotation, will have one more summer training outing before pitching in a regular season game. Rojas said he would like him to be able to pitch six innings or about 95 pitches.
He called Wacha’s changeup on Thursday “tremendous.” In fact, he worked through the hitters so quickly that Rojas had him record extra outs in two of the “innings.”
Cespedes runs well
Yoenis Cespedes is beginning to answer some of the questions about whether he will be ready when the season starts. Since camp opened, his hitting has looked excellent. But Cespedes had two heel surgeries and another surgery for a broken right ankle in the two years since he last played. He needs to prove he can run the bases and – possibly – play the outfield.
In Tuesday night’s scrimmage – where he was a designated hitter – he looked reasonably good on the bases.
He stretched a single into a double when he lofted a ball down the right field line and it caromed off the wall before Michael Conforto could corral it. He advanced from second to third on a passed ball.
“I was glad (about) the way he came out of the box and that he was taking a look to see if he could take two,” Rojas said. “It was good - maintaining speed as he’s keeping the turn. . . He almost picked it up a little bit but he kept a good speed.”
Cespedes has been working on running progressions, but Rojas said “it’s god to see him doing it in a game.”
Wilson Ramos hit a two-run homer to left field off righy Tyler Bashlor during the scrimmage. Ryan Cordell also homered, to left field off lefthander Stephen Gonsalves.