Thursday, February 28, 2013

NY YANKEES: Will Cano Go ? Early Injury Bug Bites

By The Big Ragu
Staff Writer NFL PRO ZACH

After having one of the worst post seasons that I've ever seen I expect Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano to have an MVP caliber type season in 2013. Last October  Cano went 3 for 40 hitting just .075 with four RBIs. I couldn't believe it last October and after just writing it I still can't believe it. 

      This past October the Yankees picked up Cano's $ 15 million dollar option for 2012 and why wouldn't they ? Other than the playoffs he had a fine statistical season. Last season Cano hit .313 with a career high 33 homeruns while knocking in 94 RBIs.  A 379 OBP, .550 SLG., .929 OPS  while collecting 196 hits. Good numbers again as usual.  

Robinson Cano
      Is Cano ready to carry this team for the next ten years ? I expect him to but up some huge numbers this season. Is Cano going to put up MVP numbers because he is 30 years old and coming into the prime of his career or is it because he's a free agent at the end of the season ? When Robbie arrived at spring training a lot of the talk was about Cano resigning. When asked about it Cano said " he wasn't worried about it or focused on it and he'll leave any negotiations to agent Scott Boris, spelt $cott Bori$.

     The Yankees have stated that Cano has been a great Yankee and they want him to remain a Yankee. Cano will most likely be the top free agent on the market after this season. One team that has been rumored to be interested in Cano and certainly has the money are the Los Angeles Dodgers. The word on the street is that Boris is seeking a ten year deal somewhere around $ 25 million per year. It's been said the Yankees are talking more like $ 175 million. This one is going to be tough. There's only a $ 50 million dollar difference. Chump change !! I hope they can meet somewhere in the middle. It's just that long ten year deal thing that worries me. Cano will be forty at the end of the deal. Seven years from now I would hate to see this end up being that all too familiar aging player making big money and not worth it. Oh no not again. 

     This spring there's been talk about the loss of power in this lineup and the possibility of Brett Gardner moving from left field back to center field. Well it looks as if both will happen at the start of the season. On Sunday five pitches into his first at bat outfielder Curtis Granderson got hit with a fastball from Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ fracturing his right forearm. The Grandyman is expected to miss ten weeks. Last season Granderson belted 43 homeruns so it looks like there will be a power outage to start off the season. 

     After hearing about the injury to Granderson free agent Johnny Damon made comments about returning to the Yankees. The Yankees response...." Thanks, but no thanks."

     Some have said give infielder / utility man Eduardo Nunez a shot in the outfield until Granderson comes back. We all know " Nunny" isn't the most gracious defensive player on the team but he sure can hit. On Sunday Nunez went 3 for 3 in a 4-3 loss against the Phillies. So far this spring he has been hitting the ball hard and busting it down the line on every ball. He seems determined to be on the Opening Day roster.

     With third baseman Alex Rodriguez out rehabbing his hip his replacement Kevin Youkilis is out with a sore left oblique. Youkilis called it a cramp but the Yankees sat him down for precautionary reasons. 

     Right handed starting pitcher Phil Hughes is out with back spasms and is rehabbing at the Yankees Minor League complex. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Hughes "continues to progress. " Hughes should be throwing in about a week.

     Boy what a way to start the spring. Now for some good news. Relief pitchers Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson are both off to good starts. In their first outing of the spring against the Phillies Chamberlain and Robertson each threw one inning. Robertson walked one but didn't allow a hit. Chamberlain gave up one hit while striking out two.

Joe Girardi
     Another bright spot against the Phillies was 23 year old right handed pitcher Jose Ramirez. He threw two scoreless innings without giving up a hit while walking one. Joe Girardi was impressed by Ramirez's performance.  " A young man starting his first game here, seeing (Ryan) Howard and (Jimmy) Rollins, he threw strikes." Girardi said. " He did a nice job. he's got a live arm, a really good changeup, saw a good slider today. Good stuff."

     The 6' 6' 190 lb Ramirez is from Yaguate Dominican Republic and has been in the Yankees Minor League system for the past five seasons. During that span he has spent time in Tampa and Charleston. He's 24-26 with an ERA of 3.73. In 420 innings he has struck out 392 batters while walking 149 and has a WHIP of 1.274. The Yankees have him ranked 13th among their Top Twenty Prospects. In the second half of last season he made a big step forward with an ERA of 2.17. His best pitch is his fastball that has been clocked consistently at 95 mph. He throws a lot of ground balls, has an above average slider to go along with a good breaking ball. He also throws a changeup that has been steadily improving. He has cut down on his walks but he needs to have better command of his pitches on a consistent basis. Hey a young pitcher !! We'll keep an eye on him for sure !

     Well that's it for now. As we get deeper into spring training we'll look to see how Girardi cuts down his roster and which young players stick around trying to make the big club.

     Let's Go Yankees !! 

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