Mets’ Robinson Cano injures back in winter league

Robinson Cano’s comeback has hit its first snag.

Cano, who is playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic after being suspended for the entire 2021 season due to a PED violation, was removed from the roster of Estrellas Orientales with lower back discomfort, according to the Mets.

In a statement, the team said the 39-year-old Cano had been “prescribed physical therapy and is considered week to week.”

Through six games, Cano was 7-for-26 with no extra base hits.

The Mets owe Cano roughly $20 million each of the next two seasons, but as they weigh signing Javier Baez to a new deal, there isn’t an obvious spot for Cano to play every day – unless the National League adopts the DH during the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations.

Team president Sandy Alderson floated the idea putting Cano at third base, but he has played just two games at the position in his career.

There’s also the matter of Cano returning from yet another PED violation.

New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano #24, walks back to the dugout
Robinson Cano was removed from the roster of his winter league team after a back injury.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“I think how he is received will depend on how he conducts himself and explains himself between now and spring training,’’ Alderson said at the GM meetings.

It’s the latest setback since the infamous trade that brought Cano and Edwin Diaz to Queens in exchange for Jarred Kelenic, the 22-year-old centerfielder who made his debut with the Mariners last season. After struggling early on, Kelenic finished with seven homers and an .854 OPS in 29 games in September.