The never-ending story of Robinson Cano not running out ground balls — which premiered in the Bronx more than a decade ago and now is getting a revival in Queens — got another episode Monday.
Manager Mickey Callaway benched Cano against the Nationals, in part, he said, because of eight-time All-Star second baseman’s lack of hustle over the weekend, when he failed to run out a pair of double-play grounders in Miami. Facing a tough lefthanded starter, Washington’s Patrick Corbin, and Cano needing a day off during a long stretch with no team off days were also factors.
But Cano said Callaway did not mention his lack of hustle as a reason Cano was out of the lineup.
“Those are the reasons. I think they’re all just,” Callaway said. “I had several conversations with Cano over the last few days . . . He understands that it’s unacceptable to [not] run balls out.”
Said Cano: “We didn’t get into that.”
Cano didn’t run out grounders on Friday (when he didn’t know how many outs there were) and Sunday (when he thought the ball was foul). Callaway didn’t take major issue with either scenario, saying Sunday that Cano “realizes he has to run” but it wasn’t enough to take the player out of the game.
The owner of a .245/.293/.374 slash line entering play Monday, Cano said he took ownership of his mess-ups with his teammates.
“I apologized, and I’m going to keep doing the leader role and lead by example,” Cano said. “It’s a mistake, just move on.”
Pinch-hitting in the sixth inning Monday night against the Nationals, Cano hustled out of the box to turn a gapper into a double. Callaway was surely pleased to see that.
Michael Conforto, who suffered a concussion last week in a rightfield collision with Cano, has had no symptoms for three days, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said.
“We're awaiting a couple of tests today for what activities will be able to be done today and tomorrow,” Van Wagenen said.
The Mets did not consider pitching prospect Anthony Kay, a Ward Melville alumnus, in their search for a starter Monday. But they remain impressed with his work (including a 1.24 ERA heading into his start Monday) with Double-A Binghamton.
“He is on the radar, we have talked a lot about Anthony,” Callaway said. “We do feel that he needs further development. We love what we’ve seen from him so far. He’s been outstanding. Good fastball with life to it, his ability to field his position, to control the running game — he’s doing all the small things. There are still a couple of things we’d like to see him accomplish before we give him a chance, but he’s still on our radar.”
The Mets instead turned to Wilmer Font (7.08 ERA) against the Nationals.
Seth Lugo landed on the injured list with tendinitis in his right shoulder. He said it felt similar to his August 2017 right shoulder impingement, which kept him out about two weeks. The Mets called up lefthander Hector Santiago from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Lugo’s roster spot and moved Jed Lowrie (strained left hamstring) to the 60-day IL to make room for Santiago on the 40-man roster. Callaway said the Mets will use Santiago in “several roles.” In eight major-league seasons, Santiago has made 137 starts and 101 relief appearances. . . . J.D. Davis’ start in leftfield Monday was the fourth of his career and first since June 3.