Cracks starting to show for Robinson Cano

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WASHINGTON –The Mets’ best chance to crack a dominant Patrick Corbin on Wednesday night came with their No. 3 hitter, Robinson Cano, at the plate with two outs in the third inning.

Cano, a pricey offseason acquisition, rolled over a 2-2 slider to strand a pair with the Mets trailing by two. Corbin then cruised the rest of the night in Washington’s 5-1 triumph, while Cano finished 0 for 4, dropping his slash line to .245/.297/.374/.672.

“I’m a guy, always positive, I don’t look back and never put my head down or try to make excuses,” Cano said. “It’s a bad start, but I’m always positive and be ready to play. Take it game by game.”

Robinson Cano is batting .245 with 12 RBIs through 41 games this season. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Robinson Cano is batting .245 with 12 RBIs through 41 games this season. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Cano arrived in Flushing in the blockbuster deal that also netted the Mets closer Edwin Diaz, and the team believed he would instantly fortify the middle of the lineup. While he is on the downside of his career, the Mets believed he could still produce strong numbers.

The season is just past the quarter pole, and the early results are not positive.

Cano’s had some streaks, but for the most part he’s been unproductive by his standards. He started his season with a literal bang by homering off Max Scherzer, but has only two homers since, and has gone 63 at-bats since his last homer on April 21 against St. Louis.

He’s only driven in 12 runs despite being in the 3 hole in each of his starts.

“I feel good at the plate,” Cano said. “I don’t want to say it’s not fun, but I’ve been missing my pitches. Last few days I’ve been missing fastballs down the middle.”

Mets hitting coach Chili Davis said Cano’s hands are sometimes “too quick to fire” which results in him getting out in front on pitches.

“Sometimes, he gets too quick with the whip,” Davis said.

Cano has also been a liability against lefties with Wednesday’s 0-for dropping him to .119 (5 for 42) against southpaws this season.

The second baseman began his night by striking out against Corbin before the aforementioned groundout with the Mets trailing, 3-1.

Cano also struck out against Corbin again in the sixth inning, and the Mets were quick to note that Corbin had his nasty slider working Wednesday.

The veteran did manage a hard line drive that went just foul against Sean Doolittle in the ninth, but that at-bat also ended with a strikeout, his 18th against southpaws.

The infielder hit .333 with an .893 OPS against lefties last season with Seattle.

“In the past with lefties, I think Robbie –when I saw him, he didn’t go down after breaking balls as much,” said Davis, who’s working with Cano for the first time. “He kind of spat on them, and when he got the fastball he didn’t miss it. Right now, he’s fouling off the pitches he gets to hit.”

Callaway said he has not yet considered moving Cano from the three hole, instead believing that Cano will finish with numbers in line with his career averages.

This is the first of the five remaining years Cano has on his contract, and the Mets planned for him to be a big part of what they hope will be a contending team.

Both the Mets and Cano are off to a slow start, and should Cano find his swing like he often has, it will improve a Mets lineup that has been very inconsistent as of late.

“Historically he’s a Hall-of-Fame type player so there’s always going to be high expectations on Robbie. He went through a spurt there were he was unbelievable, he’s had a couple of droughts, but if anybody knows how to fix it and fix himself it’s Cano,” Callaway said. “He’s been doing it for a very, very long time he knows himself and his swing.

“I have faith he’s going to bust out of it eventually and get rolling.”

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