Two key decisions this spring: Who to bat fifth and who to start fifth.
It was the fifth starter decision that generated the most buzz — and on Thursday Phil Hughes looked like the right choice — but the No. 5 spot in the lineup was not a given. Curtis Granderson and his 30-home run power might have worked in that role, but Joe Girardi had other ideas.
Robinson Cano, the guy who struggled with runners in scoring position last year, got the job and has been terrific.
“He can hit a lot of pitches, even when they’re not strikes,” Derek Jeter said. “He seems to get better each and every year, and he knows he can hit, so I didn’t have any concerns about him.”
That picture on the right is the Associated Press shot of Cano’s fifth-inning home run last night, one of two Cano homers in the game. He leads the Yankees in home runs, RBI and total bases. If you don’t count Marcus Thames’ seven at-bats, Cano also leads in batting average.
Here’s Cano talking after last night’s win.