On Sunday night, I had the pleasure of watching the Yankees defeat the Red Sox, 4-1, en route to a weekend series win. Hiroki Kuroda pitched a strong game, Ichiro Suzuki shocked everyone and hit not one but two home runs off Josh Beckett and the Yankees sent the Red Sox home with their tails between their legs.
While I was trying to enjoy the game, I had endure listening to a person in the row behind me heckling Robinson Cano the entire time.
I was trying to figure out why this person was so down on Cano but there really was no rhyme or reason and honestly, it was infuriating to listen to. He heckled Cano’s fielding, he complained that he smiled too much, and he was obnoxiously yelling instructions while Cano was fielding balls. Meanwhile this guy with his big gut and horrible disposition probably couldn’t even make contact with a Jamie Moyer 79 m.p.h. fastball.
Of all the things to heckle Robinson Cano about, fielding his position seems like it should be at the bottom of the list, if that kind of list were to actually exist. In fact, according to this chart at Bill James Online, Cano has saved 14 runs with his defense.
It all seemed completely misguided and frankly, a bit ludicrous.
So I decided for this post, I’d look at Cano’s 2012 numbers up to this point. As I suspected, they’re not bad at all. In fact, Cano as it stands right now, leads the team in WAR (5.6).
Overall, he’s batting .305/.369/.537/.906 with an OPS+ of 140, and leads the team with 252 total bases.
Can you see why I was so confused on Sunday night?
Now, if you look at Cano’s numbers over the past two weeks, you’ll notice he’s been in a bit of a slump. He’s batting .220/.360/.317/.677 with 13 total bases, his BABIP is .235, he’s walked seven times, struck out six times, has hit one home run and has four RBI.
When breaking it down further and isolating the past seven days, Cano has been in quite a slump. And you know what? It happens. All great players slump at one point or another during the long 162-game season. That’s how baseball works.
In his last five games, Cano’s batting .133/.278/.133/.411 with only two total bases – no extra base hits or runs batted in, a BABIP of .182, he’s walked three times and has struck out four times.
Some more Cano numbers:
- When batting 3rd: .293/.358/.463/.821
- When batting clean up: .317/.383./.587/.973
- When batting 5th: .280/.316/.507/.823
It’s clear he’s better when he’s batting fourth but the dropout isn’t so significant that there should be cause for alarm.
So far in 2012, Cano’s best month has been June .340/.416/.730/.1.146 and even with this August slump, his worst month was actually March/April .267/.323/.389/.712.
The bottom line is that Robinson Cano is a great baseball player who just happens to be having a rough month of August. He will more than likely rebound soon and the guys who were sitting behind me on Sunday will have to find a new target for their ire.
Or maybe not. Maybe that guy and his partner in crime just don’t like Robinson Cano which is fine. They can heckle whoever they want but it’s also sad because he’s one of the best players in the Major Leagues and they clearly don’t want to enjoy what they’re seeing.
(Numbers from Baseball Reference)
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