Monday, October 6, 2008

A Look Back At 2008: Robinson Cano

It's October and for the first time in 13 years the Yankees won't be playing baseball this month. It was a disappointing season to say the least. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be taking a look back at the individuals that took part in the 2008 Yankees campaign, offering up some opinions and assigning each person a grade. I hope to do at least one person a day so make sure to check back. And please feel free to add your own thoughts and comments.

Today's look back at 2008 is Robinson Cano.

Talk about a letdown. I was expecting so much more from Robinson Cano last season. After a hot spring start, I thought this might be the year where Cano got away from another slow start. As well all know that didn't happen. In fact, it was the worst start to his short career. It took Robbie 40 games to crack the 200 mark. 40 games! That's a-quarter of the season. I wouldn't expect that from a career 300 hitter. He improved as the year went on, hitting .287 in June, .327 in July, .290 in August, and .287 in September. He finished with an average of .271, more than 30 percentage points below his career average. Coming into 2008, Cano was thought of to be one the better offensive second sackers in the league. Many compared him to HOFer Rod Carew. The Yanks thought so high of Robbie that they signed him to a multi-year deal last off-season. Now he can't escape being thrown into trade rumors. My how his stock has fallen. Second base is typically a weaker position offensively. Cano was statistically one of the best 2Bs in the league in '06 and '07. In 2008 he was one of the worst. In 2007, Robbie had 61 multi-hit games and the Yankees won 44 of them (.721). In 2008, Robbie had 45 multi-hit games and the Yankees won 34 of them (.756). If Robbie's numbers were on par with last year's when he hit .306, the Yankees would likely still be playing ball right now.

I think one of the biggest problems facing Cano is his lack of drive. It was widely known that Larry Bowa had to stay on top of Cano to keep him from being lazy. While most of Cano's laziness falls directly on his own shoulders, some of the blame fals on the shoulders of Joe Girardi. Girardi knew before the season started that Robbie needed a little extra attention. He didn't really give him any until there were 13 or so games left in the season. Basically when the season was pretty much over and done with. Girardi should have known that Cano needed that little extra push and he failed him by waiting so long to bench him. But again most of the blame is on Cano. He's a major league baseball player, not a 10 year old. He should be able to get himself up for the job every day.

It was definitely a down year for Cano. He definitely didn't live up to expectations. I thought by year's end we'd see Cano finish with an average close to 300. That never materialized. Cano's performance was another in a long line of disappointing 2008s. I really hope the Yankees haven't given up on Robbie because I think he's capable of greatness. I wouldn't think Girardi would wait so long next time to kick him in the rump. It is after all Girardi's job to get the best from his team and he definitely didn't do that with Robbie last year. J-Boogie's 2008 final grade for Robbie Cano is a D. Feel free to post your own grades or comments.

If you want to check out any of the previous 2008 look backs, click on this link "2008 Look Back." It'll take you to my previous look back posts. Next up: Derek Jeter

Peace, love and Pinstripes,

J-Boogie

1 comments:

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com said...

I think a "D" is about right. He had occasional flashes of brilliance at second and was great at the plate after his benching and after the All-Star break when he spent a few days having his father coach him in the Dominican. Maybe they should bring dad to the Bronx.