The New York Mets have lost Jeff McNeil, Amed Rosario, and Robinson Cano to injury during Monday’s game. No timetable is set for return.
The New York Mets have lost three starting position players on Monday night. Jeff McNeil was a late scratch with lower back tightness, Amed Rosario left the game with quad tightness, and Robinson Cano was removed with groin tightness.
McNeil is an injury-prone player. He missed a ton of time in the minors and, while he’s improved in the majors, is still susceptible to injuries. It’s unlikely that this specific setback is going to be longterm, but it’s impossible to know for sure. Even missing just a few days could be devastating in a 60-game season.
Unlike McNeil, Rosario is something of an ironman. He’s never been on the injured list in his major league career, having played in at least 150 games in each of the last two seasons. Thus, seeing him leave the field with an injury is surprising.
It seemed Rosario was trying to play through an injury, but the Mets thought better of it. He looked to be in pain while in the field and then he couldn’t run out a ground ball the next half-inning. The Mets removed him after that.
New York is well equipped to deal with an injury to Rosario. Rookie shortstop Andres Gimenez has been impressive early. He’s a defensive whiz and his bat, while not powerful, is solid. If Rosario does need to miss time, the Mets shouldn’t treat it as a huge loss.
On the other hand, the ballclub doesn’t have a beneficial way to replace McNeil. If he were to miss time, Billy Hamilton would be the likely replacement.
How does that work? Well, Hamilton would play centerfield, Brandon Nimmo would move over to right field, and J.D. Davis would play his natural position of third base.
With Hamilton, the Mets are acquiring a ton of speed and defense, but one of the worst hitters in baseball. Losing McNeil’s bat and replacing it with Hamilton would be a significant loss.
Of course, this is only if McNeil and Rosario both miss time. If McNeil is the only one, the Mets could simply play Gimenez at third base.
Cano has been the Mets’ best hitter in 2020. Having him sit out would be a huge loss for the team. He too could be replaced by Gimenez.
If Gimenez is replacing Rosario and McNeil is available then Davis would slide in at third with Dom Smith in left field or Hamilton in centerfield. If all three need to miss time, Gimenez would likely play shortstop, Luis Guillorme would play second, and Davis would play third.