Mariners Tidbit 43: A Sign Of Things To Come For Cano

Because part of me feels like a tool for going on and on about the wet mound last night – yet part of me can’t help but look at how Felix’s night turned on a dime just as soon as he started having trouble with his footing – I’m going to let that fight die and move on to something much more disturbing.

Remember that 10-year contract we gave to Robinson Cano before last season?  Remember how we always kind of expected that deal to turn sour eventually?  Remember how this is only Year 2 of the deal, though, and he was still supposed to be pretty much as good as he was last year?

Yeah, Robinson Cano has been absolutely shit-awful in Year 2, and we’ve got 8 more of these fucking things to go.

Robbie’s worst year ever from a batting perspective was in 2008, when he finished the season with a slash line of .271/.305/.410/.715, career lows for all.  In that particular year, he dug himself a mighty 16 for 106 hole in the month of April, batting .151 with 3 doubles and two homers.  He slowly but surely dug himself out – batting no lower than .287 in any given month the rest of the way – but all his numbers sans doubles were down across the board thanks to his early funk.

I don’t know if this year is going to be anything like 2008 for Cano, but it’s the beginning of June and his numbers aren’t super different than they were at this point in 2008:

  • 2014 – .246/.290/.337/.627, 12 doubles, 2 homers, 35 strikeouts
  • 2008 thru June 1st – .220/.268/.327/.595, 10 doubles, 4 homers, 21 strikeouts

What have we seen so far?  What everyone’s been talking about:  he’s expanding his strike zone and pitchers are making him pay.  He’s rolling over on a lot of weak-ass grounders.  He’s not hitting the ball the other way like he’s used to.  He’s been a drain on this team and if you don’t believe me, chew on this:  he’s already grounded into 9 double plays through 50 games; he averages anywhere from 16-22 double plays in any given season!

I believe Cano will somehow right the ship and get that batting average somewhere approaching .300 by the time the season ends.  But, that’s no guarantee.  He very well could finish the season batting .250 and we’re all going to be REALLY sad to see that there’s 8 more years of this.  The fact of the matter is, he’s on the wrong side of 30.  He’s not getting any BETTER.  Plus, he plays half his games in a stadium that’s going to sap his power every chance it gets.  This is nothing we didn’t see coming when the signing came down, but it’s very disconcerting to see his decline happening this early.

And make no mistake, this is the beginning of the fearsome Cano Decline.  What happens next is he turns into strictly a singles hitter.  Maybe he tries to work an extra walk here and there to compensate.  Unfortunately, unlike Ichiro’s Decline, Cano can’t rely on his legs to prop up some sorry numbers.  Cano isn’t legging out too many infield singles, nor is he stretching many singles into doubles; that’s not his game.  Eventually, when the pop in his bat goes, and his defense goes, you know what we’re left with?  The world’s most useless DH.  Or, as it’s commonly known around here:  Jose Vidro circa 2008.

Take a look at THOSE numbers.  That’s your future, right there.  And, unfortunately, the future is closer than we’d all hoped.

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