I have been quite critical of Cano in that his performance does not match his paycheck. At 33 years old, Cano has provided the Mariners a pretty decent .300 batting average, but with only 35 home runs and 161 RBI over two years, one can not help but yawn at that productivity. While the numbers are decent for a veteran second baseman making 8-10 million a year, it is downright awful for $24 million a year man.
Others have been critical too. Former M’s coach Andy Van Slyke blasted Cano. Now granted a lot of what Van Slyke has to say sounds like sour grapes from a recently fired coach. And much of Van Slyke’s reaction could attest to the defense of his friend Lloyd McClendon and his GM Jack Zduriencik who were both unceremoniously fired at the end of 2015.
“Robinson Cano cost the GM his job. The hitting coach got fired because of Cano. And the manager and the coaches got fired because of Cano. That’s how much impact he has on the organization. He was the worst player and it cost people their jobs in the process.”–Van Slyke
The 6 time All-Star has some reasonable explanations as to why he has performed poorly. In 2014, he had an intestinal parasite that kept him sick for quite a while and in 2015, he had severe acid reflux and a sports hernia that forced him to alter his approach.
One has to give Cano some credit for powering through these problems while other players would just take a stint on the disabled list. And perhaps a stint on the DL may have helped our True To The Blue Team, as his trying to power through the injury seems to have hurt the team.
Regardless, on Monday night Cano hit a laser beam 391 feet showing that he still has bat speed at his age. And today, Cano hit another moonshot to help guide the M’s to a win. Fans should be willing to shake off the troubled past couple of years and give Cano one more shot. Like it or not, we are tied to Cano and our team will go as far as he takes us.