Cano’s Unsuccessful Aggressiveness

Just a few things to ponder about Cano’s early-season slump:

In the first 17 games, Cano has hit exactly 11 times in 66 at bats, a .167 average. He has grounded out 30 times–11 to the left side of the infield, 18 to the right side, and once in front of the plate. He has struck out 8 times, and has popped out 5 times (including once to the catcher in foul territory). With his propensity for swinging at the first pitch–and given Leiter’s defense of Cano’s aggressiveness even as he struggles–Cano is 1-14 when swinging at the first pitch, helping in some way to explain why he’s drawn all of two walks thus far.

I love the kid and know he will come around. But he really needs to stop swinging at the first pitch, even if he thinks it’s hittable, at least while he’s in this horrible slump. It clearly isn’t working. He needs to work counts to increase his chance of getting better pitches to hit. He’s chasing pitches down in the zone, probably out of frustration and poor recognition, that have resulted in ground outs accounting for over half his outs thus far this year. A good many of those grounders have been weak, not well-hit balls that have challenged infielders to make stellar plays. If he plays tonight, he’ll face a pitcher in Daniel Cabrera who throws very hard fastballs with movement, but he also has a slider that will dive into Cano. He will need to recognize that and be patient. When Cabrera is off, he will walk batters. Cano should strive to be one of them if Cabrera struggles–and if Cano isn’t sitting.

Published in: on April 18, 2008 at 1:43 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey there. Glad you survived the earthquake unscathed.

    I’ve decided to wait until the six week point before expressing frustation with players who can’t get the bats going. It’s still so early in the season; for all we know Cano and David Ortiz will be battling for the batting title in late September. I do feel your pain though. First pitch groundouts and popups can be murder in close games.


  2. The inability to draw walks, makes a slump even worse. But remember how great Cano was last year when he went off later in the year? But there is no doubt that he needs to develop some patience. Maybe the hitting coach, or whoever needs to just ban him from swinging at the first pitch for a while. To train him to do so in the future. Im serious too. They could just say “do not swing at the first pitch” and they could do this for a little while.

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