CHICAGO — Asdrubal Cabrera has been making his case. The Mets veteran infielder who demanded to be traded when he was moved off of shortstop in June, is looking to prove he is a viable infielder for next season. He’s been steady at third base, pretty good at second base and his bat of late is speaking volumes.
Cabrera was hitting .417 with six doubles, two home runs and six RBI in the 10 games he has played in September. Since Aug. 25, Cabrera was batting .390 with three homers and 13 RBI in 17 games.
“He didn’t hit the homers he hit last year but the one thing – he’s a good hitter, he’s a good baseball player,” Terry Collins said before Wednesday night’s game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. “He’s a knowledgeable guy, he’s on top of the game. You watch balls in the dirt he seems he gets as good a jump as anybody off the bases. I think there was a time when he was a little upset with the status and that might have taken a little bit of the starch out of him for a while but I think he realizes he has to get back and ready to play and help the club. That’s what he’s done.
“He’s played very well at third, he’s played very well at second and now he’s swinging the bat,” the Mets manager continued. “I think he’s certainly, as people watch and try to analyze what he is, he’s a guy that can help you win baseball games. His versatility right now is really, really important.”
The 31-year old is hitting .272 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI this season in 118 games. Cabrera hit 23 home runs in 2016. He missed time with a thumb injury twice this season and recently missed a game after his left glute tightened up in a game.
The Mets are certainly considering picking up the $ 8.5 million option on Cabreras contract for 2018. That was a sticking point for Cabrera earlier this season when they asked him to play third base. When the Mets refused to discuss his option, he told reporters he had asked for a trade. Ironically, he was one the two veterans that the Mets didn’t move in their salary dump.
The Mets see him as possible insurance at third base, considering David Wright just underwent shoulder surgery and has not played in nearly a year and a half. His versatility could help them since they have holes at third and second base heading into 2018.
Noah Syndergaard played an extended game of catch, working on his delivery and mechanics, on flat ground in the outfield of Wrigley Field Wednesday afternoon. The big righthander had been scratched from a simulated game Sunday because of “general soreness,” after making a rehab start on Thursday.
This was a last test before Syndergaard gets back up on the mound and continues what he and the Mets hope is a comeback.
“If he comes out of this fine, he’ll throw a pen,” Collins said. “I don’t know which day, but the next thing is to go out and get on the mound.”
Syndergaard is trying to come back from tearing his right lat muscle on April 30. He and the Mets would like him to pitch in another game this season so they all can go into the offseason with peace of mind. The plan now is to tentatively use him in a “piggyback” situation, meaning he’d split a start with another starter. The Mets were eying a chance to have Syndergaard come in and pitch after Matt Harvey pitched at some point.
Erik Goeddel, who had been experiencing dizziness and blurred vision for several days, was cleared by team doctors to begin limited baseball activities back in New York Wednesday. The right-handed reliever was prescribed medication for the symptoms, according to the team.
Collins was not sure if Goeddel would be back this season.
T.J. Rivera will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Thursday in Gulf Breeze, Florida. The surgery will be at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. The Bronx native was shut down July 27 after experiencing discomfort in the elbow and an MRI showed a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament. He did not respond to a platelet-rich-plasma injection and therapy, which meant he needed the surgery.
He was hitting .290 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 27 RBI in 214 at-bats for the Mets this season.