November 1, 2010

Poll Results: Time for Cano to move up

poll results46

The majority of voters in my latest poll said Robinson Cano should hit third in 2011, rather than Mark Teixeira.

Cano only has 19 at-bats in the three-hole in his regular-season career. Even more surprisingly, just 12.5 percent of his career at-bats have come from any of the top four spots. That’s not the number you would expect from a leading MVP candidate this year.

For Cano Hitting Third:
He was undeniably the best hitter for the Yankees in 2010. That reason alone could convince some people to switch him with Teixeira. Some people have argued a higher OBP is necessary to hit third. Well, in 2010 Cano reached base 38.1 percent of the time compared to Teixeira’s 36.5 percent.

For Teixeira Hitting Third:
As Tom Moccia put it on Twitter, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” That’s absolutely a valid point. The Yankees led the league in runs scored last year, and Teixeira hitting third in 157 games definitely factored into that.

I think this will be one of the questions Joe Girardi will answer in spring training. As always with spring training, the decision won’t be based on stats; it will be judged by the quality of Cano’s at-bats, his feedback and Kevin Long’s opinion. I’ll predict now Cano and Teixeira will swap places for 2011. However, one big free agent signing could change my opinion.

Next poll: Should the Yankees invest in a full-time DH?

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