Asdrubal Cabrera has been diagnosed with a strained patella tendon in his left knee and will be shut down for at least two weeks, the Mets announced.
Signed to a two-year, $18.5 million deal this offseason to take over as the Mets’ starting shortstop, Cabrera tweaked his knee while running the bases Thursday and flew back to New York to be examined by team doctors.
Nothing is set in stone yet, but Cabrera seems unlikely to be ready for Opening Day and will probably begin the season on the disabled list, which would all but guarantee Ruben Tejada will make the team out of spring training. Tejada and Wilmer Flores will fill in at shortstop for however long Cabrera is sidelined.
Cabrera played 143 games for the Rays last season and hit .265 with 15 homers and a .744 OPS at age 29. He’s played at least 135 games in each of the past five seasons, but has never been in the lineup more than 151 times in a season.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.