Earlier in the month, Brad took a look at the struggles of Robinson Cano. Cano’s definitely rebounded since then; for the month, he’s hitting .357/.379/.554/.993. Still, there’s something that seems not quite right with Robinson, and like Hiroki Kuroda (though for different reasons, obviously), it’s old number one.
I took a look at Robbie’s pitch f/x data for this year and last year and there were some odd rends regarding the four seamer. Cano’s seeing fewer of them this year and putting more in play, yet he’s whiffing at more fastballs than he did last year. The numbers from 2011 and 2012 are pretty similar when comparing the two seamers, but the results are a little different. Let’s run over to FanGraphs quickly and take a look at the pitch f/x pitch values for Cano when it comes to four seamers and two seamers.
For his career, Cano has been above average against fastballs, 0.57 runs per 100 pitches with the four seamer and 1.24 runs above average per 100 two seamers. This year, fastballs have, apparently, eaten up Cano. He’s 1.28 runs BELOW average per 100 four seam fastballs and 1.24 runs BELOW average per 100 two seam fastballs. He’s made up for it by mauling sliders thus far, but considering fastballs are what he’s going to see a lot, I think we’d all like to see some improvement there. Cano’s quick swing is practically designed to murder fastballs, and I’ve every confidence in him to do that as the season goes on. He’s already started to heat up, and once he starts to catch up to the fastball again, the American League had better look out.
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