Monday, March 15, 2010

Pressure on Cano to be the 5th man

Robinson Cano's struggles driving in runners from scoring position will no longer be as easy to overlook as they used to be. If he can't protect Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, the baseball world will know about it very quickly.

Cano is now set the take over the fifth spot in the lineup, replacing the super-clutch Hideki Matsui. Manager Joe Girardi and hitting coach Kevin Long have both expressed confidence that the New York Yankees second baseman is ready to assume such a critical spot in the lineup. Cano seems grateful for that confidence, but he needs to reward it. And that means showing patience at the plate, not swinging at bad pitches and not getting himself out.

Can he do it? He certainly is talented enough and has improved several aspects of his game in recent years, most notably his defense. But Cano has also show signs of immaturity, slacking off on his workload. Girardi and Long think those days are behind him and that he's ready for the challenge. For the Yankees sake, I certainly hope so.

The pressure is on. It's time for Robby to step up and be the fifth man.

Thanks to kidsire via Wikipedia for the photo.

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