Robinson Cano Newsbeat
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Baseball is a game of adjustments.
That’s the kind of solid contact that ought to lead to production, but confoundingly for Cano, it didn’t. But over the past 30 days, Cano has looked like the star we saw in New York. You might expect that he has been hitting the ball harder, and indeed he has. But perhaps just as important, Cano has changed his average launch angle. That is, he’s stopped pounding the ball into the ground, or pumping out low and easily-caught liners, and managed some elevation behind those hard-hit balls.
April 6 through June 19
.245/.284/.337 2 home runs
Average exit velocity: 88.74 mph
Average launch angle: 6.79 degrees
June 20 through July 20
.280/.318/.540 7 home runs
Average exit velocity: 91.54 mph
Average launch angle: 9.14 degrees
What’s “launch angle,” you ask? It sounds complicated, but it’s not. It’s simply measuring the angle that the ball comes off the bat. A negative exit angle means a grounder or a very low liner; a positive one is higher in the air. A launch angle of zero degrees would be directly back at the spot where the pitcher released the ball.
That’s important because for the first few months, Cano was hitting grounders like he’d never done before, which is part of why that solid contact wasn’t leading to extra-base hits. Excessive grounders may work well for low-power speed demons like Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon, but for Cano, it just meant that he was depriving himself of his highest-value hits. Let’s go back to that same date range, this time showing his splits between liners, grounders, and fly balls.
April 6 through June 19
Line drive %: 23.6
Grounder %: 52.8
Fly ball %: 23.6
June 20 through July 20
Line drive %: 23.5
Grounder %: 43.2
Fly ball %: 33.3
As you can see, the line-drive rate didn’t change, but Cano has dropped 10 percentage points from his ground-ball rate and put that toward his fly-ball rate, confirming what launch angle is showing. Since Cano is hitting just .182 on grounders, this look suits him much better.
Tuesday, July 07, 2015
I see an endorsement for Prilosec in his future.
In a Spanish-language conversation with USA Today Sports, Cano provided some previously undisclosed details about a stomach ailment that has sapped his energy. He also spoke of the impact of losing his paternal grandfather, Ovidio, who died of lung cancer in March, calling him, “like a second father to me.’‘
Cano, 32, said he was especially reluctant to talk about the stomach problem because it might be perceived as making excuses for his poor performance. Nobody likes to hear excuses from a player earning $24 million a year.
If nothing else, though, his revelation sheds light on the challenges that come with playing at the elite level Cano established for the majority of his previous 10 seasons.
“When things go well, people like everything you do,’’ Cano said. “When things don’t go well, people look for 1,001 explanations, and they don’t understand you’re a human being.’‘
Cano was in the midst of his sixth All-Star season last year when he started experiencing stomach discomfort in August. With the Mariners in the playoff chase, he didn’t get it checked until their season was over, in October. Cano said he was told he had a common parasite, which was treated with antibiotics, but he was left with acid reflux to this day.
“It still affects me,’’ Cano said. “Sometimes you drink water and it makes you feel like vomiting. I can’t eat the same way I did. It’s hard to deal with, especially being the first time this has happened to me. Sometimes I eat only once a day before playing, because I feel full. And you just don’t have the same energy.’‘
Sunday, May 24, 2015
It’s bad enough to pay a huge contract to a free agent. It really sucks when that guy doesn’t produce like you hope, which, of course, happens most of the time.
Posted: May 24, 2015 at 09:18 AM | 6 comment(s)
Friday, April 03, 2015
Cavanaugh estimates that 300 major league players will wear New Balance cleats this season. It has come at a cost for the company that for so long proudly shunned endorsements—though a relatively cheap one, compared with other sports.
On Thursday, the brand announced that it has added Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano to an endorsement roster that already includes Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera.
“Robby wanted to be the face of a brand, and New Balance will enable him to be that,” said Michael Yormark, president and chief of branding and strategy for Roc Nation, which represents Cano. Yormark said Cano, who has more endorsements now than he did while playing in New York, also liked the fact that the company committed to working with him on his lifestyle business. It also will support his foundation by outfitting students at Cano’s RC22 Dream School in his hometown of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.
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