Robinson Cano Bats Third Because Of The GM, Not The Manager
Last year, Robinson Cano began the year as the Mets third place hitter, and he’d stay there for a good part of the season. He’d stay there despite many screaming Mickey Callaway needed to remove the washed up second baseman coming off a PED suspension from the middle of the lineup.
Heading into 2020, it seemed like the days of Cano batting third were behind us. At the end of last year, Cano was supplanted by Michael Conforto in the third spot in the lineup, and it stayed that way when Cano returned from the IL.
Couple that with Callaway (and Carlos Beltran gone), the Mets seemed poised to reshape the middle of their lineup without Cano taking a prominent spot. Seeing the lineups in the Yankees series and the comments from Luis Rojas, that will not be the case.
Luis Rojas all but said yesterday that Canó will bat third. That's not to say the situation can't change, but it appears to be the plan. https://t.co/WOaDL1sx62
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 19, 2020
Once again, Cano is going to be batting third for the Mets. Apparently, two separate managers looked at Cano and independently determined Cano needs to bat third.
Of course, that’s nonsense. We know that’s not what’s happening here. The truth is the GM, Brodie Van Wagenen, is making this decision.
First off, we know that because that’s how baseball teams now operate. We also know it’s true because we’ve learned Van Wagenen does not respect any boundaries. In fact, despite it being against MLB rules and regulations, he will text game decisions to the clubhouse.
Sources confirms that Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has acted during games, texting to staffers, including to remove Jacob deGrom during that Arizona start earlier this year in which he left early.
It's happened more than once.
— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) June 25, 2019
As it pertains to filling out the lineup, we’re well past the days of a manager setting the lineup on his own volition. That doesn’t mean he has no input. One famous story was when Terry Francona told the front office if they wanted him to bench Mike Lowell against the Yankees on Sunday Night Baseball, they were welcome to tell Lowell themselves (Lowell started that night).
However, that’s Francona, a future Hall of Fame manager with two World Series under his belt.
Callaway was a manager who was on the hot seat before 2019 Opening Day, and he was ducking chairs thrown at him by Van Wagenen. Rojas was the guy the Mets hired only because they fired Carlos Beltran after the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal (only for the Mets to keep J.D. Davis and Jake Marisnick). Neither have the presence or footing in the organization to even think about attempting what Francona did.
The Mets can try the smokescreen of saying they’re just trying to get Cano at-bats. On that, we should note, Cano batted third, not leadoff. Cano also came out of both games. He needed at-bats so much, he exited both games early?
No, he batted third because that’s where the Mets, specifically Brodie Van Wagenen, wants him. Maybe the Mets relent now due to the public pressure, but in the end, if Cano bats third look no further than his former agent turned General Manager who gave up a king’s ransom to get him.