Robinson Cano has not participated in the Mets’ workouts the past three days.
A Mets spokesman declined to comment. Their new organizational policy, as the coronavirus pandemic threatens the baseball season, is to not comment on anybody’s absence.
Manager Luis Rojas has said that not every player is expected to be at Citi Field every day and that somebody could be missing for a “variety of reasons.” But three days is a significant amount of time in the 21-day, sped-up spring training environment.
The Mets also have declined to make Cano, the starting second baseman, available for an interview since preseason camp restarted July 3.
Cano, 37, struggled last season, his first with the Mets. He hit a career-low .256 with a .307 OBP and .428 slugging percentage — and went on the injured list with leg problems three times.
He played in 107 games, the second-lowest total of his career behind 2018, when he served an 80-game suspension for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
Cano joined the Mets in the signature move of Brodie Van Wagenen’s time as general manager: a seven-player trade with the Mariners in December 2018. Edwin Diaz came to Queens alongside Cano, with prospect Jarred Kelenic headlining the five-player package that went to Seattle.
The Mets owe Cano $24 million per season through 2023. This year, that salary would be prorated to the 60-game schedule.
Ramped up Dellin?
Rojas said Dellin Betances’ fastball velocity was 92-93 mph — still well below his usual high-90s heat — during a recent simulated game, but he noted the team didn’t have readings on his Wednesday intrasquad game outing.
“Just from the eye, we liked what we saw as far as the fastball set and the contrast on his pitches,” Rojas said. “I'm looking forward to seeing his next outing as well but he looks really good.”
In an intrasquad scrimmage, Jacob deGrom threw three innings. He is lined up for another simulated outing (probably Tuesday) and an exhibition start against the Yankees (probably July 19) before getting the ball July 24 for Opening Day. … Yoenis Cespedes homered off Seth Lugo. He did not run the bases … Rojas said he doesn’t know when the Mets will begin using MCU Park in Brooklyn as an alternate training site. Mets officials did a walk-through of the facility on Wednesday.