Robinson Cano’s season is not dead yet.
The Mets’ second baseman and his torn left hamstring took early batting practice Wednesday before the team continued its series with the Indians. If Cano arrives back at Citi Field on Thursday feeling good, he will “run a little bit,” manager Mickey Callaway said.
The pregame work was a sudden sign of life from Cano, who went on the injured list Aug. 5 with what appeared likely to be a season-ending injury. But four days later, the 36-year-old said he already was feeling better and that kept the hope alive for him to return this year as the Mets chase a playoff spot.
While they could soon have a crowded infield, the Mets certainly would take the version of Cano they were getting right before he tore his hamstring trying to leg out a double in Pittsburgh. In his four most recent games, Cano was 9-for-15 with four doubles and a home run. His six home runs after the All-Star break were two more than he had in the entire first half.
Cano’s replacement, Joe Panik, has filled in well. Since the Mets signed the St. John’s product, he had delivered 10 hits in 31 at-bats entering Wednesday. Jeff McNeil, who can split his at-bats between second base and the outfield, is also nearing a return from a left hamstring strain, while infielder Jed Lowrie has finally started playing in rehab games again.