Monday, January 26, 2009
robbie cano....don'tcha know!
January 26, 2009
Maybe Robinson Cano's 2008 struggles were the best thing to happen to the 26-year-old second baseman.
Cano's bat heated up with the weather again last season, but not enough after he hit a woeful .151 in April. He ended the season at a pedestrian .271 with 14 home runs and 72 RBIs.
Cano played winter ball in the Dominican Republic, his home country, and he will play on their World Baseball Classic team.
"It's motivation for me this year," Cano told MLB.com. "Now I know I have to start from the beginning this year, in April, not in June. I have to start early now."
Most would consider that common sense, but with the way Cano was performing in the dog days of summer it was tough to complain about his work ethic. In December, The Post's Joel Sherman spoke with a scout who had watched Cano play in the Dominican Republic and was impressed with his performance.
"Cano looked good," the scout said. "He is playing for the worst team in the (Dominican) league, but his at-bats looked like the old Robinson Cano Robinson Cano to me. He was swinging the bat with authority."
Though Cano's numbers did improve as the major-league season progressed last season, it was nowhere near the production he put forward in the first three years of his career. Cano hit .301 after July, August and September in 2008, compared to a career .330 average during those three months in his first three seasons. Cano's off-year led to speculation he might be traded this offseason.
"I heard a lot of rumors, but I never pay attention," Cano said. "I've been through that the last four years, every year they say I'm going to get traded. If it happens, I have to keep playing."