Friday, June 4, 2010

Cano strengthening early MVP bid


Is there any question that Robinson Cano is having an MVP-caliber year?

What was already a strong case for the American League’s Most Valuable Player award has gotten even stronger in recent weeks. He is hitting .465 over his current 17-game hitting streak and is getting hits even when he doesn't hit the ball particularly well, as he showed yesterday with his ribbie double in the first inning.

Cano is leading the league in hitting with a .373 batting average and is tied for fourth in ribbies with 43. He has hit 12 home runs and scored 41 runs and carried the offense when both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira were slumping big time. And let's not forget his defense because Cano is well on his way to winning his first Gold Glove, making difficult plays seem effortless.

“Robby has really emerged as an elite player,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s been one of the best players in the game.”

There's no doubt he has some stiff competition. Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers is in the top five in the American League in batting average, home runs and RBIs. If Detroit stays competitive in the division race through the regular season, Cabrera will get a ton of support for the MVP.

The New York Yankees have done pretty well in the MVP race in recent years, with ARod winning two and Derek Jeter and Teix finishing high in the balloting. But this year, Cano has the opportunity to fulfill those predictions of greatness and bring home the trophy.

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