Back in 2009, Robinson Cano hit .207 with runners in scoring position. He had 25 home runs that year, and he hit for average against both lefties and righties, but Cano was his worst when had had a chance to do some damage.
“He’s a totally different guy (now),” manager Joe Girardi said. “I think he’s learned to relax in those spots, learned how to drive in multiple runs when there’s multiple guys on. Not just a single, but to drive the ball. He’s grown leaps and bounds.”
Yesterday, Girardi essentially acknowledged that Cano has become the Yankees best all-around hitter. It might have been obvious already, but last night Girardi moved Cano into the spot in the order usually reserved for a team’s top offensive player.
Curtis Granderson might finish ahead of Cano in the MVP race, but this is clearly Cano’s team. He’s not the biggest name, but he’s the biggest bat.
“The first year that I was hitting fifth, I was like 0-for-20 and they moved me back to sixth,” Cano said. “Alex (Rodriguez) helped me a lot. We talked a little bit about it and did some work together in spring training on the back field, and it’s been working really good.
“…What I’ve been doing this year with men on base, I’m not going to change anything. Just keep doing my job, forget that I’m hitting third because I don’t want to put pressure on myself. I’ll just keep playing my game, help the team win a game and help the team win in the postseason.”
Here’s Cano speaking before yesterday’s game.
Associated Press photo