Mets' Luis Rojas talks Robinson Cano fallout, what Dom Smith's role will be if NL doesn't have DH

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Danny Abriano
·2 min read
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Robinson Cano and Dom Smith near the on-deck circle
Robinson Cano and Dom Smith near the on-deck circle

With Robinson Cano suspended for the entire 2021 season and there still not being a decision from MLB regarding whether the NL will again have the DH, Mets manager Luis Rojas discussed on Wednesday how the Cano fallout and unresolved DH situation could impact the team -- specifically Dom Smith.

"I'm in a 'let's get there' type of mode with that right now," Rojas told reporters via Zoom. "We can think about ways, obviously. If you ask me, I'd like the DH this year, and I was raised in National League traditional baseball as you know. But it will really help us to have the DH with the hitters that we have and the guys that -- especially like you're asking -- having Dom and (Pete) Alonso there sharing maybe first base and DH.

"Dom's versatility if we fall into that (spot) where there's no DH, Dom will with his versatility have more time in left field to have Alonso in the lineup every day like we're looking at. Or even having a rotation. ... Dom works really hard, he wants to stay versatile. He knows what's going on, he's very professional about it."

Rojas added that the team will wait to see what the rules are as far as DH or no DH and then make a plan. 

If there is no DH, the Mets could be in a tough spot.

Assuming the Mets sign a new center fielder, the plan if there is a DH would likely be to have Brandon Nimmo in left field and Michael Conforto in right field. They could then DH Smith or Alonso and also find some at-bats for J.D. Davis.

If there is no DH, the Mets could be left to juggle four players (Nimmo, Alonso, Smith, and Davis) for two spots.

Regarding Cano's suspension and what it could mean for second base in 2021, Rojas said it was a "surprise" and that he was disappointed, but expressed confidence that the Mets have lots of options to replace him.

"We have guys that are versatile and we have guys that can definitely play there," Rojas said. "And there's different names. You think of a guy like Jeff McNeil, you think of a guy like Andres Gimenez -- who played three positions in the infield (last season). And Luis Guillorme had a really good year for us when he got the call. There's guys also in the market that can come in and do stuff.

"I'm not gonna get in the way of the negotiations and stuff that our front office and our leadership group is doing. But there are ways to definitely fill in and do some things for next year and stay competitive as a team even without Robinson Cano."