Jan
25

Let the ‘he’s in good shape’ talk begin

By

It seems like every year the big stories at the beginning of Spring Training are about how Player X showed up looking trimmer than last year. Player Y looks to be in great shape. We saw that plenty of that last year, and I wouldn’t expect any different this year as we head into February. Up first this year: Robinson Cano. Kat O’Brien reports that he looks “very trim,” though we know that has little to do with how well he’ll perform.

The picture to the right is of Cano at a recent WBC workout for the Dominican team. It’s just one picture so it’s tough to tell if there’s any difference. According to O’Brien, Cano finished the year at 213 and now weights 208 (though she also notes that he probably played most of the year weighing more than 213). While it’s good to know that he did work out this off-season, it really means nothing in regards to his performance on the field. He’s put himself in a better position to succeed, no doubt, but he still has to prove it with the bat. It’s going to be tough to forget his slow starts the past two years.

Thankfully, Cano knows what’s at stake:

“I’ve just been working on my new stance,” Cano said, “just getting ready mentally and physically. … I know that I have to start in April, not in May or June.”

Or March, for that matter. Cano had a monster spring in 2008, hitting .446/.471/.646 in his 65 at bats. Even if he does tear it up again this March, we’ll be looking for how he transitions to April. Adding his bat early on could help the Yankees avoid the slow starts they’ve experienced the past two years.

Categories : Spring Training

73 Comments»

  1. John says:

    I guess what matters is that he’s mentally ready (supposedly)

    Remember in 07, it was said A-rod was in great shape, losing about 6% body fat and he’s prepared for everything (like the media) mentally…I’m pretty sure you know how the season then went for him.

    I hope Cano’s better fitness has a similar effect on him.

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      .310/.350/.450 with 20+ HRs this year. Hitting in the 5 hole by June.

      • Jay CT... Ben Sheets biggest fan says:

        Hopefully the WBC will help him get into mid season form a bit earlier. Lots of guys begin slow (like our new first baseman), but slow and July are two different things. We really need Cano to show what he truly is this season. I really think this is a “make or break” year for him. I love Cano, so I am pulling for him.

        • Mike Pop says:

          I don’t know how to link pics from noMaas but I found that pic so funny where they had Cano with Dr. Kevorkian and it said please do us a favor.

          I do think Cano will have a big season though. He knows what has happened to his boy Melky and I doubt he wants that to happen to him.

    • Last year the big story was Jason Giambi coming to camp in shape. That worked out well. He played more games at 1B since his Oakland days.

  2. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    He’s had good Aprils in the past as well, .316/.341 in 06 and in .270/.320 07.

    So the cold weather stuff doesn’t wash.

  3. Kw says:

    I think the weight portion is nice, but it doesn’t really tell much of a picture. I think body fat percentage, or what kind of workouts he was doing really would show how much of a change he brought on. If I recall correctly, Arod one year bulked up for the season and that actually led to his “bat speed slowing” (not that I know for sure, but I think that was what the consensus was). The next year he leaned down a lot while still maintaining good athletic shape and he had a monstrous year. Who knows?

    • John says:

      assuming he really is working out a lot and given he’s only lost 5 lbs, it means he added some muscle and lost a lot of body fat.

  4. Manimal says:

    Melky took looks leaner.
    Remember Bruney last year? I barely noticed him in spring training he lost so much weight

  5. The Evil Empire says:

    Hey joe, where can i get more photos of the Dominican team’s practice? A link would be nice

  6. Lanny says:

    Fat Pete Abe is already on top of the he’s in good shape thing.

  7. Zack says:

    Like it was stated, he hit “.446/.471/.646 ” in Spring Training, his weight had nothing to do with his slow start. he got in a funk and couldnt break out

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      “Like it was stated, he hit “.446/.471/.646 ” in Spring Training, his weight had nothing to do with his slow start. He got funky with Melky at every night club in town and couldn’t wake up”

      Fixed.

    • A.D. says:

      Yeah, more likely that working on his batting all winter and changing his stance will make it more repeatable.

  8. Mike Pop says:

    Man, no football blows. Bring on the baseball!

  9. Mike Pop says:

    Where is Cano going to be hitting? 7 or 8?

  10. Drew says:

    Edwar also looks trim in that picture. lol

  11. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    What does A-Rod say in response to the Torre book when he shows up at ST?

    Probably something like “I have no comment, I always enjoyed playing for Mr Torre and I’ll just leave it at that.”

    When you’re Joe Torre, and you put A-Rod in the position of being the classy one, you have to know that you’ve completely screwed the pooch.

  12. Ace says:

    I was just looking on ESPN at some stats and came across the following for 2008:

    Slugging % with NONE on base
    1. ARod .679
    2. Pujols .665

    Slugging % with RUNNER(s) on base
    1. Youkilis .694
    2. Manny .648
    96. ARod .476

    • John says:

      yea that was 2008, everyone has bad years as RISP changes from year to year. I can also compare 2007 to everyone else…

    • Bonos says:

      That’s what having Giambi batting behind you will do to your stats. A Rod always wants to be the man even when he gets nothing to hit. It’s the ego and talent of the man.

    • A.D. says:

      And A-Rod slugged .719 with men on in ’07. Shit happen. He cannot make the guys get on in front of him

  13. Ace says:

    Here’s another interesting one:

    Of the top 10 single-season leaders in strikeouts for hitter’s, only 2 are from a decade other than the 2000′s…(and it’s the same player)

    1. Mark Reynolds (24) 204 2008
    2. Ryan Howard* (27) 199 2007
    Ryan Howard* (28) 199 2008
    4. Jack Cust* (29) 197 2008
    5. Adam Dunn* (24) 195 2004
    6. Adam Dunn* (26) 194 2006
    7. Bobby Bonds (24) 189 1970
    8. Jose Hernandez (32) 188 2002
    9. Bobby Bonds (23) 187 1969
    Preston Wilson (25) 187 2000

  14. New Mexico Mike says:

    Cano’s batting success will depend on his ability to handle outside pitches on and slightly off the plate. If I have one image of Cano batting last season, it’s him flipping his bat in disgust after hitting a weak pop up to the left side of the infield. If he can drive those pitches through the 5.5 hole, as he did in 2006/2007, then he should return to or improve on his 2006/2007 offensive performances. Closing his stance and reducing extraneous movement in the batter’s box–as encouraged by Kevin Long–seems the correct fix. Barring injury, I expect a big offensive big year from Cano, unless he always bats with the bases loaded ;-).

  15. emac2@msn.com says:

    5 Lbs???

    I can gain or lose that in a few days.

    If losing 5 pounds over a full summer of exercise is an example of a renewed effort this guy must have been a real joke.

    • steve (different one) says:

      useless comment.

      he could have replaced fat with muscle, come in at a similar weight, but look completely different.

  16. Craig says:

    Cano takes a while to get acclimated to the cold NY weather each spring. That is my theory.

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