According to Bryan Hoch, Kevin Long and Robinson Cano are going to work together to retool Cano’s swing this off-season. The Yanks seem to feel that Cano’s moving parts are to blame for his sub-par season. However, I’m not quite convinced this is indeed the case.
On the season, Cano’s batting metrics are right in line with his previous seasons’ numbers. His line drive percentage is at 19.1, 2.2 percentage points higher than his 2007 number; his groundball percentage is 48.4, 3.8 percentage points lower than last year’s total. Meanwhile, Cano’s batting average on balls in play is sitting at .273, nearly .060 points lower than it was last year. These numbers seem to suggest that Cano is simply having one of the unluckiest seasons in recent memory.
So as the Yankees head into the off-season, looking to turn around one of the players most responsible for the team’s offensive malaise this year, I have to wonder if this is just a misguided effort or if the Yankees are seeing something in Cano’s swing and results that we’re not seeing reflected in the numbers.
To me, Cano’s steeply declining home run total is the biggest indication of a problem. He’s gone from a home run every 32.5 ABs to one every 41.6 ABs. If Cano were simply unlucky, his absolute power — his ability to hit the ball over the fence — shouldn’t decline as much as it has. For now, we’ll just have to wait ’til next year on this one, but this could just be case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Hat tip to Manimal for the article.