Mets explain why Robinson Cano was not benched for failing to run out an eventual double play

The Mets are at their latest low point after getting swept by the otherwise hapless Marlins. Manager Mickey Callaway, whose job is safe for now, came out of it in the worst shape, but veteran second baseman Robinson Cano wasn't far behind. That's because Cano -- twice in the span of three games -- failed to run out a batted ball and as a consequence was doubled up. 

On Friday night, Cano failed to run out an eventual double-play grounder because, he said, the Marlins Park scoreboard incorrectly showed two outs. To be fair Cano would've been doubled up no matter how quickly he beat it down the line, but it was an unfortunate look. A more unfortunate look is that something similar happened again in the series finale on Sunday: 

This one certainly isn't the residue of laziness or anything like that. Cano thought the ball was foul and thus didn't run. When it did nick the chalk, though, catcher Chad Wallach pounced and started the 2-6-3. As with the other play, no amount of hustle on Cano's part changes the outcome. 

Afterward, the embattled Callaway was of course asked about it in light of Friday's similar gaffe: 

Cano was also asked about the play after the game:

A lot -- a lot -- of players don't hustle down the line on plays that seem routine off the bat. Cano is certainly one of them, and this has been the case throughout much of his career. Doing so twice in such short order, however, means he's going to be subject to even more criticism. Put this against the Mets' failure to meet expectations this season, and it looks even worse. Cano deserves to be a Hall of Famer someday, but this isn't doing his reputation any favors, fair or not. 

Cano wasn't in the lineup for Monday night's game against lefty Patrick Corbin in the Nationals. Callaway explained the decision: 

"I had several conversations with Cano over the last few days. [Bench coach] Jim [Riggleman] and I filled him in last night after the game that he would not be starting today. One, he's been struggling against lefties and that's just how it is. We're facing a very good lefty today. Two, he understands that it's unacceptable to not run balls out and he understands that he needs to do that at all times as do all of our players. That's just something we expect. And three, I feel at this point he needs a day off. He's played six or seven in a row. We have always had the feeling that we're going to get him as far as he can. I think ideally it's five or six but since Corbin is starting today, we knew this might be a day off for him so we pushed him one more day. So those are the reasons, and I think they're all just."

The real issue with Cano in 2019 is that he's not hitting. Perhaps that's not surprising for a 36-year-old, but it is surprising in the sense that Cano has before this season staved off any signs of decline. Not surprisingly, though, his lack of hustle rather than his lack of production became the story over the weekend. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories