The Atlanta Braves welcomed Robinson Cano to Truist Park Monday and he will play second base and hit ninth in their series opener against the New York Mets. The team is hoping that he can give them some production from the left side and help solidify second base as they await the potential return of Ozzie Albies who is on the injured list due to a broken foot.
“I think the biggest thing I know is, Alex was following and looking at the Triple A numbers and what he’s doing,” Brian Snitker said of the Cano acquisition prior to the game. “I think prior to that he was probably rusty when he was here for the first two times. Just hoping maybe that you get what Robinson Cano was capable of. He’s been playing a month in Triple A and doing well so we’ll see.”
Cano began the season with the Mets and then latched on with the Padres. He was playing for San Diego’s Triple A team in El Paso before the Braves acquired him in exchange for cash considerations Sunday night. He will likely pair with Orlando Arcia who has slumped of late.
“One of the reasons I think he was attractive was because he is left-handed. If he was right-handed, probably wouldn’t have had the same attraction, but the fact that he’s left-handed kind of balances things out a little bit for us so we’re not so right-hand dominant.
Cano has appeared in over 2,200 games and is a career .301/.351/.489 hitter with 335 home runs and a 125 wRC+. He has also been suspended twice after testing positive for PEDs and missed all of the 2021 season. He will turn 40 in October, but it isn’t the worst time for the Braves to take a flyer with three weeks remaining before the trade deadline.
On facing the Mets
The Braves are a much different looking team from the one that faced the Mets earlier this season. While, this is no doubt a big series, Atlanta and New York will meet 12 more times before the end of the regular season.
“Anytime you play a big division series, it’s a big deal,” Snitker said of facing New York. “Nobody is going to win or lose the division [this week], but it’s still fun. I mean, when you play a team like this, it’s a really good club and so are we. It should be a great pitching matchup today. It ought to be fun.”
“It’s an important one for sure. Anytime you play them, it’s a big one,” Austin Riley said before the game. “I think if we go out there and play our game, then we can kind of let everything else take care of itself and I like our chances. It is a big one, and we’re gonna see them again.
Drew Waters traded to Kansas City
The Braves traded outfield prospect Drew Waters, pitching prospect Andrew Hoffmann and infielder CJ Alexander to the Royals Monday morning in exchange for a competitive balance pick in the upcoming draft. Snitker was asked about Waters and if a change of scenery might be a good thing for him.
“I think it could be really good for him. They are kind of in a rebuild so to speak and I think it’s probably really good for him,” Snitker said. “He’s a very talented guy. Hopefully a new change of scenery, maybe some new voices, things like that, help get him going. I’ll surely be rooting for him. I really liked the person and the skill set. I think a lot of times these kind of things, you never know, he might look back and say it was the best thing to ever happen to him.”