January 26, 2009

Oh so slow Cano

Robinson Cano is known for his cold starts, and his hot summers .  A career .280 hitter in the first half compared to a sizzling .327 second half average.  What we don't know is why he struggles so much in the beginning, and what adjustments does he make when summer time rolls around?

To answer the first question, his offseason preparation has been questioned by the Yankee front office in the past.  Cano has responded by participating in winter ball and by hiring a personal trainer this offseason.  The idea of him getting so many swings in the offseason, and hopefully even more to come during the World Baseball Classic seems like a good thing for Cano - giving him time to make appropriate adjustments.

For the second question, I believe Cano has so much desire to succeed that when he sees himself struggling, he puts things into overdrive.  Getting extra swings in with hitting coach Kevin Long, studying video, and most importantly, hitting the ball to left and center field.

When I see Cano struggling, he tries to hook a lot of outside pitches down the right field line, but instead he ends up hitting a lazy ground ball right at the second basemen.  When he's on fire, he's going with the pitch, hitting line drives to the left-center field gap, or hard singles up the middle.

Hopefully Cano can use all of his preseason at bats to work out any early flaws and start hitting like an all-star in April.

Photo from SI.com

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