Mets’ Robinson Canó gets rare start at first base as New York attempts to expand veteran’s versatility

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The New York Mets have a well-known identify beginning at an unfamiliar place as a part of their exhibition recreation on Thursday in opposition to the Washington Nationals. Robinson Canó, historically a second baseman, will probably be tasked with defending first base. Canó’s experimentation on the chilly nook is a part of New York’s efforts to enhance his defensive versatility forward of the beginning of the common season.

“He is nonetheless going to play some second base, however he is so excited to be again with the workforce and being able to contribute,” supervisor Buck Showalter mentioned on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Showalter added that Canó could be doing aspect work at first base forward of Thursday’s recreation to be able to prepared him for his trial run.

Canó, 39 years outdated, missed all of final season after testing optimistic for a banned substance. In 2020, he appeared in 49 video games and batted .316/.352/.544 (143 OPS+) with 10 residence runs and 9 doubles. The Mets are anticipated to make use of Canó as their main designated hitter.

Canó has appeared at first base earlier than throughout his big-league profession, albeit occasionally. He is collected 14 appearances and 88 innings on the chilly nook over the course of his 16-season profession. For comparability, Canó has appeared in additional than 2,150 video games on the keystone, the place he is a two-time Gold Glove Award recipient. 

The Mets appear unlikely to make use of Canó at first base too usually. Even when Pete Alonso have been to undergo an damage that will require him to overlook time, Showalter may name upon Dominic Smith, himself a left-handed hitter. Nonetheless, it by no means hurts to have one extra contingency plan in place, and it isn’t as if Canó’s hitting is prone to be impacted by the choice to attempt him at one other spot throughout spring coaching’s waning days.


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