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MLB Today: Robinson Cano’s Inconsistent Season

September 26, 2012 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Andruw Jones has struggled for the New York Yankees.
Andruw Jones (right) could soon have a lot more time to watch sports.

Before we get to today’s note, I want to thank Dear Mr. Fantasy for profiling as their Fantasy Sports Website of the Week in their Podcast this week. Cheers, dudes!

When we last checked in on Robinson Cano in an early July Podcast, we talked about how he and Ian Kinsler were forcing baseball to snub Jason Kipnis from the All-Star festivities.

Well, the second baseman who has generally entrenched himself in the three-hole in the Yankee lineup of late, cooled off in July, was a tad better in August, but has struggled in September. The second half has not been kind to Cano.

On Tuesday, however, Cano looked like his old self, going 3-for-3 with a walk and a run. It wasn’t enough to help the Yankees win, but fortunately Toronto did the Pinstripers a favour by whipping the O’s.

Despite the sluggish second half, Cano is enjoying another huge season. He’s got a chance for a fourth straight 100-run season, but his hit total will probably dip for a third straight season unless Tuesday’s showing is the beginning of a crazy hot streak.

On the plus side, Cano has put together his first 30-homer campaign, although thanks to a substandard .239 mark with RISP, his RBI count is way down. He’s drawn more walks than ever before, and that’s combined with the power spike to make this a successful season.

Arguably the Yankees’ MVP, Cano has had one weird season. He struggled out of the gate (.255 BA with just one homer and four RBI through the first 27 games) before going bananas over the next 100 games (.326 BA, 26 homers, 66 RBI, .396 OBP). In the last 25 games, however, Cano has really limped to the finish line (.204 BA, 10 RBI, 644 OPS).

The true measure of his season will be whether Cano can put together a third straight phenomenal postseason performance or if we’ll see the 2009 playoff version of him.

Tuesday night was a step in the right direction. Now let’s see if Cano can build on that.

Quick Hits

  • Back in late-July we recommended Vernon Wells as a waiver wire pickup as he came off the DL. Well, he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire – and let’s face it, he’s forever going to be a bust because of that bloated contract – but Wells was pretty good in August and has pretty much maintained that pace in September, making him worthy of consideration in AL-only leagues. Obviously, he’s no longer playing every day and that – combined with his thumb injury earlier this year – has really muted his ability to turn the disaster that was 2011 around. Having said that, Wells has played better this season, raising his BA by 15 points, although his extra-base pop has really faded since landing in Anaheim. Hey, at least he can still pick ‘em in the outfield. Well, at least he still tries to pick ’em.
  • Speaking of aging outfielders, we ranked Andruw Jones 119th among flyhawks heading into the season but he’s barely been a top 150 player at the position. Sure, he slugged a pinch-hit homer Tuesday, but it was his first jack since August 16. He’s actually seen more action this season, but that’s mostly because Brett Gardner has missed most of the campaign. Now that Gardner has returned, Jones will likely be stapled to the bench more consistently. Let’s face it. Jones is 35 now, really struggles against righties (.188) and is too slow to man the outfield. He had a bit of a renaissance last year, but it feels like it’s just about time to stick a fork in this former star.

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