Jon Heyman reports that Robinson Cano has been working out at first and third base in the Dominican Republic.
Cano is eligible to be activated from his PED suspension on August 14, and at the moment what role he’ll play with the Mariners is up in the air. Dee Gordon moved in from the outfield to cover second base when Cano went down and just the other day the Mariners shored up their center field situation with Cameron Maybin, which means that any chance of Gordon moving and Cano taking over his old position is remote. Which makes sense, of course, given that the Mariners will only have Cano for about a month and a half given that he is not eligible for the playoffs. Assuming, of course, the Mariners make the playoffs.
When Cano was suspended he was batting .287/.385/.441 in 39 games. If he’s still productive after the half season layoff, he could be useful as a utility guy. If not, well, it’s not like the M’s really missed him when he was gone.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.