Looking at Robbie Cano’s baserunning


Cano sliding into homeI was originally planning to put together a post looking at the Yankees’ baserunning in 2009 as a team, but once I started digging deeper and deeper, I found some really interesting stuff about Robinson Cano, so I decided to give him his own post. Don’t worry, the team-centric baserunning post will be up before long, but let’s take a look at the Yanks’ second baseman first.

As you probably already know, Cano is an atrocious basestealer. He was successful on just 5 of his 12 stolen base attempts in 2009, and for his career he’s just 17 for 38, a ghastly 44.7% success rate (break-even is 72-75%, depending on who you ask). This isn’t anything new either. Following an 11 for 13 debut as a sprightly 18-year-old in the rookie level Gulf Coast League, Cano stole just 11 bases in 19 attempts (57.9%) in the final 434 games of his minor league career. For a young and athletic middle infielder, the guy isn’t very good at swiping bases.

Baseball Prospectus has a stat for pretty much everything, including baserunning. Equivalent Stolen Base Runs (EqSBR for short) measures the “number of theoretical runs contributed by a baserunner above what would be expected given the number and quality of their baserunning opportunities,” which in English means it’s how many runs above average a player’s steals are. It’s not based on just bulk stolen base numbers, it factors in the game situation (a steal in a one-run game is greater than a steal in a ten-run game, a steal of third is better than a steal of second, etc.) while adjusting for park, batter handedness, the whole nine.

In 2009, Cano’s basestealing was worth -2.06 runs, which is pretty bad. In 2008 it was worth -1.49 runs, which is better, but still bad. In 2007 it was worth -1.21 runs, and in 2006 it was worth -0.72 runs. So not only is Cano’s basestealing so bad that it’s costing the Yankees runs, but it’s gotten progressively worse in each of his four full seasons. That’s not an encouraging trend for a guy still in his mid-20′s at an up-the-middle position, but stealing bases is just one piece of the baserunning pie.

BP’s Equivalent Base Running Runs stat (EqBRR) encompasses all forms of baserunning, including steals, advancing on balls in play, moving up on wild pitches, stuff like that. It’s actually the sum of EqSBR and four other similar stats, but we’ll get to that in a minute. What’s important right now is how valuable Cano’s overall baserunning has been throughout his career.

This year Cano finished with +0.4 EqBRR, the first full season in which his baserunning has been beneficial to the team. Last year he was at -0.7 runs, the year before it was -2.2 runs, and in 2006 it was -3.4 runs. Do you see what’s going on here? Let’s plot this out…

Cano's baserunning graph(click any image in this post for a larger view)

Well isn’t that cool. Despite getting worse and worse each year when it comes to stealing bases, Cano’s overall baserunning has actually gotten better as his career has progressed. Five years of engineering school allows me to deduce that Cano must have improved in the other aspects of baserunning (that’s the yellow line) for this to be possible (how’s that for analysis?). Remember when I said EqBRR is the sum of five other stats? Well let’s break it down into those individual components to see where the improvement actually is.

Cano's baserunning chart

Everything in the chart is in runs, and I spared you the five-letter acronyms and just wrote out what each stat considers. There’s a stat for advancements made on groundballs to infielders (“Grounders”), sac flies (“Balls In Air”), base hits (“Hits”), and pretty much everything else (“Other”). “Stolen Bases” is just EqSBR. If you’re that interested, head over to BP’s glossary and you’ll find everything you need.

As you can see, the improvement in Cano’s overall baserunning comes from an improvement in his ability to take the extra base on sacrifice flies and base hits. Remember, these stats adjust for game situation and stuff, so Cano’s probably doing a better job of picking his spots as well. The slight dip in “Hits” this year isn’t much of a concern, because right now we have nothing to suggest it’s more than just a statistical blip. I’m thinking it might have something to do with the New Stadium; maybe he was being a little cautious not knowing what kind of bounces to expect.

Overall, Cano’s gone from costing the team nearly two runs (1.68, to be exact) on the bases in those situations (sac flies and hits) back in 2006 to adding nearly two runs (1.87, to be exact, again) to the team’s ledger in 2009. That’s a 3.54 run swing, which more than a third of a win. Considering how something so simple and easy to overlook as advancing on a wild pitch or going from first-to-third on a single can be, it’s quite an improvement. I’m not going to attempt to figure out what brought about this improvement, but I think we have to acknowledge that spending so much time around smart and veteran baserunners like Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, and Alex Rodriguez has probably helped.

Whether or not this improvement continues or plateaus or even regresses remains to be seen, but right now the data is encouraging. And by no means am I making Cano out to be some great baserunner. In fact, the +0.4 runs his baserunning was worth last year is pretty negligible, he’s basically par for the course. That, however, is much better than costing the team runs on the bases, like he had been doing in years past. All I really want to do was point out that there’s been a definite improvement in his non-stolen base baserunning ability, and as far as I know, it’s going completely under-the-radar.

Obviously, pure speed is a big help when it comes to baserunning, but instincts and the ability to read pitchers also play a big part in running the bases. Cano’s not a burner, he never has been, but the data suggests that as he’s gained experience in the big leagues, he’s gotten better at taking the extra base on sac flies and base hits. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on as he enters his prime.

Now, if they could only get him to stop trying to steal bases…

Photo Credit: Reuters

Categories : Analysis
  • Rob in CT

    I imagine that most of his “steal” attempts are busted hit & runs.

  • Bo

    Why would he have to steal in this lineup?

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Well if the catcher sucks why not? The team doesn’t have to steal but they can make a game a blow out if they do against terrible catchers like Varitek.

    • Rose

      Because he’s one out of very few position (or DH) players on the team that is in their 20′s and have the ability? Posada, Swisher, Teixeira and Matsui (if he comes back) are wayyy too old, slow, or injured to attempt it. Jeter and Arod are getting older…although they have been able to maintain some youthful numbers (in all aspects of the game)…but you can’t just assume or expect it to continue forever.

      That leaves you with Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera (with Brett Gardner on the bench already mastering the task) as the 20-somethings that don’t have to be a whiz at base running or stealing bases…but they should be much better than what they were…which was utterly terrible.

      I’m not saying this is definitely why…I’m just giving my opinion as to why. Plus, if you can improve something without hindering other areas…why not do so?

      • whozat

        Except…Cano DOESN’T have the ability. he’s never shown the ability. He’s never had a lot of raw speed. The only reason to think he has the ability to steal is because he’s a 2B and many 2Bs can steal bases.

        If Joe’s sending him, he needs to stop. Hit-n-run is fine, but the straight steals…don’t send him, and definitely don’t give him the green light except against the WORST of catchers.

        • Matt ACTY/BBD


        • Rose

          Derek Jeter doesn’t have raw speed but he’s a very good baserunner. You don’t always need “raw speed” to be a good baserunner. You just have to learn what you’re capable of…and learn the situations and what to do in those situations. Then you’re a very good baserunner who doesn’t have a lot of raw speed.

          • Matt ACTY/BBD

            I’d say Derek Jeter does have raw speed, but he also has the good instincts that make him a good base-stealer. Cano seems to have neither the raw speed nor the base running instinct.

            • Rose

              I’d agree on the insticts part…but even when you play the video games…Jeter doesn’t have “raw-speed”…he has decent speed and GREAT instincts…being one of the smartest players in the game.

              • Matt ACTY/BBD

                but even when you play the video games

                Seriously? Did you really just go there? Come on, you’re smarter than that.

                • Rose

                  It was a semi-joke. But I still believe he doesn’t have “raw” speed. He has average speed. He’s not very fast. He’s just extremely smart and knows what he’s capable of doing during every situation…which makes him successful. The video game thing was thrown in as a joke because I clearly don’t have any speedometer readings or any other facts at the moment haha.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Derek Jeter has above-average raw speed. He may not look like Vince Coleman out there but the guy’s got speed. He doesn’t leg out infield hits or the occasional bunt thanks to his smarts or baserunning instincts.

                • Rose

                  I guess it depends on your definition of “raw speed.” When I hear “raw speed” it basically stresses or accents the word “speed” meaning that the guy is an (REO) Speedwagon. Above average speed? I would agree with you. Above-average RAW speed? I would have to disagree…assuming “raw speed” means what I think it means.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  No need to parse words so much. I mean he’s fast.

  • Rose

    At least this is something you can work on…especially with Robinson Cano’s build and stature. If he had Jim Thome-body then you could just say who cares…but it’s something he needed and has worked on…

    But like I said, it’s good that it’s something he CAN work on. Where-as something like Johnny Damon’s arm…can’t exactly be fixed. It’s there and you just have to deal with it lol.

  • Benjamin Kabak

    Off the cuff, this reminds me of Bernie Williams. Bernie was fast and was a great base running, but he had no stolen base instincts. He could go first-to-third with the best of them but was successful stealing just 147 out of 234 times (62.8 %). Cano, admittedly, is worse at stealing than Bernie was but seems to know what to do on the basepaths otherwise.

    • Mike HC

      Just from eye, it seemed like Bernie took a while to get to full speed. Slow starter, but once he got there, he was lightening quick. Maybe Cano has the same problem.

      • gxpanos

        Yeah I think you’re right on the acceleration thing. I used to notice that in CF.

  • mike

    Although this is a small point in a larger picture, I have been advocating for trading Cano for a few years now, as I believe (watching every inning) that while a good player, he certainly should not be considered either a “core” or “untouchable.”

    If there is equal value to be had for him ( in terms of a young outfielder or pitcher) via trade would pull the trigger in an instant, and I don’t think he has the acuity to mature as a player – as exemplified by his idiotic plays in the field and on the bases, as well as his give-away of at-bats in the playoffs throughout his career, nevermind his struggles with RISP the past season. These are times where a person’s ability to focus are tested ( see Jeter, D.), and time and again Cano fails to meet the bar.

    I think that while some of his stats will blossom (while others will regress), he is a perfect example of a “sell-high” player, and while i like the idea of a powerful 2B on the younger-side of 30 providing offense from an otherwise dead position, i think now is the time to trade him and capitalize on his season.

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      The problem in trading Cano is that while you’ve potentially upgraded one position, you’re seriously downgrading 2B. There aren’t many good options on the market, either. So you’re essentially hoping that Orlando Hudson + New Player – Salary difference > Cano. It obviously depends on New Player and his salary, but I’m not sure the Yankees can find a trade partner who can provide an equitable player.

      • mike

        I agree that moving Cano is not super easy, but i think he as a quasi-centerpiece of a trade package would be “sellable” to the buying team (always important) and could also serve as a ready-inducement.

        For instance, a Cano + Joba + minor leaguer for a King Felix would be far more sellable to the mariner’s fans if they were getting an “all-star” like Cano where he makes a reasonable salary than a Montero + Joba + minor leaguer where the executives would have a harder time trying to defend a potentially better trade for their team.

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      I think that while some of his stats will blossom (while others will regress), he is a perfect example of a “sell-high” player, and while i like the idea of a powerful 2B on the younger-side of 30 providing offense from an otherwise dead position, i think now is the time to trade him and capitalize on his season.

      Absolutely not. Who plays second base? An aging and not-as-good-as-Cano Orlando Hudson? Ramiro Pena? Kevin Russo? No. There’s absolutely no reason to trade Robinson Cano. He’s got a team-friendly contract and provides great offense from a premium/up-the-middle position. Players like this don’t just grow on trees and there is no reason to give him up. Are there things about him I’d like to change? Sure, I wish he took a few more walks and was a little more steady on defense, but overall, I’d take him over just about any second baseman in baseball not named “Utley.”

    • AndrewYF

      “and I don’t think he has the acuity to mature as a player”

      Except that he has matured as a player.

      Did you not read the post? Baserunning is only one aspect of Cano’s maturity as a baseball player. Having a career year would also show maturity, I think, but what do I know, you’re the one playing armchair psychologist.

      • mike

        Andrew – if you read my post I clearly state that his baserunning is a small point, and I think the marginal statisitcal difference between this past year and his 2007 (i think) year hardly show any “maturity” over the past year – perhaps a return to the mean?

        No one is taking anything away from Cano – he is a good player, and the Yanks are lucky to have him – yet I believe his reputation is inflated as to his true abilities, and i think the Yanks would be better off selling high than continuing to hope he will mature.

        Also- a word of caution – just wait until Girardi tries to bat him second in the lineup, where Jeter and Tex will have to contend with his sloppy at-bats…..i think we all will be reading alot more about his defficiencies at that time.

        • scoopemup

          Bring back Larry Bowa.That is all.

    • Mike HC

      It all depends on the player. I agree that Cano can be traded for the right price, but what is that right price. For Matt Kemp, I would do that in a second, but I doubt the Dodgers would do that.

      • Stuckey

        I believe someone is now obliged to point out Cano had a higher OPS than Kemp did last year.

        • Mike HC

          It is a good thing that “2009 OPS” is not the only way to evaluate a players potential for the next decade.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Of course I’d trade him for Kemp. I’d trade Jeter for Hanley too. And Tex for Pujols.

        Of course I’d trade ANY of our players for better players. Cano is a top five 2b in the league, I don’t know why we’re singling him out.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Of course you’d trade Cano for Kemp? Last time we had this conversation it took you a while to begrudgingly admit that you’d trade Cano for Kemp.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Actually… Kind of a late PS, here, but that conversation wasn’t even about trading one for the other, but who you would choose if you were starting a team from scratch. Now, not only would you choose Kemp, but you would, “of course,” trade Cano for Kemp because Kemp is the better player?

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

              The idea was now accepting that Kemp is the better player, of course you’d trade Cano for the better player.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Just keeping you honest. ;-)

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  And you do a good job of it too.

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

              Not to mention that that’s kind of missing the point of my comment.

              My point is that I’d trade ANYODY on the team for a better player, not just Cano. Kemp is the example used.

              You should be happy, you’ve convinced me of Kemp’s superiority to the point I’d make that trade.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                I know, but I’m about to really annoy you… I don’t know that I’d trade Cano for Kemp. I probably would, but you’d have to consider the other circumstances (the other options at CF and 2B, cost, etc.) before making that determination. Saying one is better than the other is different than saying you’d necessarily trade one for the other.

                (But yeah, I’m sure I’d trade Cano for Kemp. I’m just messing around now.)

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  You are the one guy here who can figure out diabolical ways to annoy me.

                  Not even TSJC has that ability. Or at least uses it.

                • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Ha, sorry. All joking aside, though, there is a distinction there. Even thought I think (as we’ve discussed before) that Kemp is the more valuable player, that’s different than saying I’d trade Cano for him right now. I think you probably do, but you do have to consider the other circumstances before making that (or any) trade.

                  All I mean is… Saying you’d choose Player X over Player Y if you were starting a new team is different than saying you’d trade Player Y for Player X if those players are already on teams, have dollar values and all that other stuff involved, and you have to deal with replacement/roster issues.

        • Rose

          Of course I’d trade him for Kemp. I’d trade Jeter for Hanley too. And Tex for Pujols.

          Difference is Cano is a 2B and Kemp is a CF. Jeter for Hanley and Tex for Pujols would be trading players for players of the same position who are better than they are.

          While Kemp is far better than Robinson Cano…it is easier to find a good CF than it is finding a good 2B.

          • Stuckey

            “While Kemp is far better than Robinson Cano…”

            He is?

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            Fine. I’d trade Jeter for Pujols and Tex for Hanley.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            The numbers are skewed a bit due to the injury to Beltran and the injury/down-year of Sizemore, but in 2009 the 2B class was better than the CF class. WAR numbers are below:

            Top 5 2b:
            1. Zobrist 8.6
            2. Utley 7.6
            3. Pedroia 5.2
            4. Kinsler 4.6
            5. Lopez 4.6

            Top 5 CF:
            1. Gutierrez 5.9
            2. Kemp 5.0
            3. Morgan 4.9
            4. Cameron 4.3
            5. Bourn 4.2

            Average WAR among qualifying players in 2009:
            2B: 3.36
            CF: 2.78

            Median WAR among qualifying players in 2009:
            2B: 2.9
            CF: 2.4

            • Rose

              Pedroia was #3 overall for 2B and Cano didn’t even make the list in 2009??

              Wasn’t expecting that at all…

              Cano had a 4.4 and Pedroia’s was 5.2?? Interesting indeed.

              • Joseph Pawlikowski


            • Rose

              And what’s better…

              A 4.4 WAR at 2B or a 5.0 WAR in CF?

              You say the numbers are skewed due to some missing pieces in Beltran and Sizemore…which means that usually CF have higher WAR numbers…making 2B the more crucial spot to have.

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                “You say the numbers are skewed due to some missing pieces in Beltran and Sizemore…which means that usually CF have higher WAR numbers…making 2B the more crucial spot to have.”

                Be careful, that’s not necessarily what it means and you just jumped to a conclusion to try to prove your pre-determined point. It just means that if Beltran and Sizemore had good seasons, the numbers might look a bit different, it wouldn’t necessarily change the numbers so drastically that CF would become a deeper position than 2B.


                Top 5 2b:
                1. Utley 8.1
                2. Pedroia 6.6
                3. Uggla 4.9
                4. Roberts 4.8
                5. Kinsler 4.2

                Top 5 CF:
                1. Beltran 6.7
                2. Sizemore 6.3
                3. Rios 5.5
                4. Upton 4.9
                5. Ichiro 4.2

                Average WAR among qualifying players in 2008:
                2B: 3.1
                CF: 3.0

                Median WAR among qualifying players in 2008:
                2B: 2.85
                CF: 3.3

                So healthy, productive seasons from Beltran and Sizemore didn’t necessarily make 2B the more shallow position, and that’s in a season in which one of the more prominent 2B in MLB, Cano, had a terrible season.

    • Stuckey

      Can’t say I’ve ever properly wrapped by head around this line of logic – the idea that Cano might never mature into a SUPERstar, because he might not have the head for it, therefor it’s wise to trade him.

      That’s in fact making a move out of frustration, which is not a move made from a position of strength, as often argued.

      Cano is still very, very good and probably will be for sometime. To advocate trading him outta frustration that he may never be really, really great is IMO lacking in proper perspective.

      • Raf

        +1. thank you.

        • mike

          I dont think its a trade out of frustration, but rather an idea to make the team better if another front office believes Cano is better than we (as everyday obsessed fans) believe him to truly be, and that his defficiencies as a player ( mostly IMO focus/mental) will make him difficult to have as both a team leader and focal point of the team as the “old guard” passes along. Thus, if a trade can be made where the Yanks could improve their team, I would not be sad to see him go.

          • Stuckey

            “I dont think its a trade out of frustration, but rather an idea to make the team better if another front office believes Cano is better than we (as everyday obsessed fans) believe him to truly be,”

            Well then I can’t say I buy into the line of thinking that a team that might wind up paying the man up to 9 figures over the course of his career would somehow be ignorant to the weaknesses we fans see.

            Seriously, do we really believe a team is going to give the Yanks +value back, and a 8-figure year salary, based on Cano’s stat line or a few good games he played in their home part? You don’t think they will or will have extensively scouted him?

            Watched every inning of the post-season?

            Read all the same stories we all do?

            “Thus, if a trade can be made where the Yanks could improve their team, I would not be sad to see him go.”

            But doesn’t think apply to EVERY player. If the Yanks can trade ANYONE to improve the team, shouldn’t they?

            Why does this somehow apply particularly to Cano?

            I mean seriously, do we fans really think we know things about player’s other teams don’t?

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    I disagree. Cano is a top 5 2b in the league, and he’s young. He’ll only improve.

    Of course I’d trade him for someone of better value. I’d trade Jeter, CC, A-Rod, and Texeira for people of better value too. Doesn’t mean we SHOULD trade them.

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      Reply fail.

      This was a response to mike.

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    Question: Are these baserunning statistics calculated into UZR?

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      Why would they be? This base running is for offense, UZR is for defense.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Wow, statistic fail. Meant to write WAR.

        • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

          Lots of fails for me today.

          • Rob in CT

            Not in WAR, at least not yet. You have to add/subtract manually.

        • Matt ACTY/BBD

          And, no.

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            Well that’s interesting.

          • Matt ACTY/BBD

            Caveat, it might be calculated into BP’s WARP, but not the FG WAR we usually use here.

            • Chris

              Fangraphs includes SB/CS, but not other baserunning.

  • A.D.

    t factors in the game situation (a steal in a one-run game is greater than a steal in a ten-run game, a steal of third is better than a steal of second, etc.)

    Is getting thrown out in a 1 run game considered worse than a 10 run game?

    • Mister Delaware

      “… steal of third is better than a steal of second …”

      Interesting, since the run expectancy matrix says they’re virtually the same upgrade.

    • pete

      one would have to assume so, since it very obviously is

  • Chris

    A couple interesting things in looking at Cano’s caught stealings this year:

    - Only one (of 7) was possibly a botched hit and run. Back on 5/18 he was thrown out when Melky took a ball. The three previous pitches were fouled off and Cano was going on two of them.

    - One of his CS was actually a pickoff. I’m not sure if he was planning to steal and misread the pitcher or if he was picked off so badly that he just took off for second.

    - Six of the seven times he was thrown out, Melky was at bat. The other time it was Matsui

    - The Yankees were 6-1 in games where Cano was caught stealing. Apparently he should be trying to steal more, not less.

    • Mike HC

      “The Yankees were 6-1 in games where Cano was caught stealing.” … Apparently the Yanks only let him steal when the game was solidly in hand.

    • A.D.

      Apparently he should be trying to steal more, not less.

      Sure, if there was causation.

    • A.D.

      Only one (of 7) was possibly a botched hit and run. Back on 5/18 he was thrown out when Melky took a ball. The three previous pitches were fouled off and Cano was going on two of them.

      What happened in the others that would mean they have to be straight steals?

      • Chris

        In most cases the batter never swung.

  • Stuckey

    When you lead the league in OPS a good .33 points over the next closest team, I believe a strong argument could be made that no one but the BEST basestealers should EVER run, if even.

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      The only people on the Yankees who should steal:

      1. Derek Jeter
      2. Brett Gardner
      3. Alex Rodriguez
      4. Johnny Damon*

      *If he’s on the Yankees in ’10

      • Tank the Frank

        Mekly can swipe you a few bags…ten or so. His percentage is pretty decent and if his instincts can mature he may be able to do more.

      • pat

        Melkman too 10 SB 2 CS. Not too shabby.

  • Crazy Eyes Killa

    I don’t want Cano batting second next year, we need someone who works the count in that spot

    • Crazy Eyes Killa

      and preferablly someone who can take a base

      • TheLastClown

        The guy’s had a .350+ OBP three out of the last four seasons.

        I get the frustration with Cano’s free-swinging sometimes, but come on, if the guy’s getting on basem 35% of the time without any count-working to speak of, imagine when he grows into his own a little more & gets a bit more selective with this swinging.

        The RABbis looked at this:

        But really, if not Cano, who do you want @ 2nd? Where does his bat get replaced?

    • Rose

      Swisher would presumably bat 2nd if Damon doesn’t come back. Unless we sign somebody else that could do similarly what Damon did. But out of who we have right now…it would be Swisher I believe.

  • Rose

    You don’t replace Cano. This is the most foolish thing I’ve ever. He’s a free swinger and isn’t a good base runner so you trade him away??? He’s one of the best 2B’s in the game. He compliments the team enormously. You don’t need all 9 guys sitting there and taking pitchers over and over…and kick out whoever doesn’t. You build a team that compliments one another…and that’s exactly what we had last year. Everybody contributed in their own way. If you have a team filled with Bobby Abreu’s…you won’t be successful. If you have a team filled with Robinson Cano’s…you won’t be successful. If you have a team with various players who can take pitchers, spoil pitches, hit for average, hit for power, run the bases, etc. You’ll be fine. You don’t need everybody to sit there and take pitches and play the same way.

    Robinson Cano had over 200 hits last season…batted .320 and had a 4.4 WAR. I don’t know who you expect to get in his place that will not only be better…but that will be younger and cheaper as well.

  • mitch

    do you think his batting spot(#) in the lineup was a factor? this year,(although not unpredictably) he often hit leading off an inning with no runners on or in scoring position…? i guess it doesn’t speak for the years past-but…

  • dkidd

    to the cano bashers:

    instead of seeing a problem that needs to be “solved” (trade him!!! teach him to steal/take a pitch/hit with risp!!!), see him for what he is: a player who allows us not to worry about 2B for the next five years

    “underachieving” cano >>>>>>>>>>> 25 major league second basemen

  • Drew

    One of the reasons I wanted Bobby back was to work further with Robbie and Melky on basestealing/running. Abreu isn’t the fastest guy on the field at this point in his career but he’s pretty good at swiping 2nd. 30 for 38 this year. You may think “why not just ask Al or Jetes to help teach them,” but there’s another reason I thought Bobby would be helpful to them. Bobby has a similar running style to Robbie and Melk, they all taking seemingly short quick strides rather than the long stride runners like Al and Jetes take.

    But as Mike said, maybe it’s just time for Robby to give up on the base stealing thing.

    • Drew

      *have. Not “taking”

  • bobmac

    Nice article.It’s good to cut through BP’s jive.

  • NC Saint

    Mike, great stuff.

    Back when you guys ran that what would you like to see more/less of from RAB, I was one of many who said more of this sort of thing, but just to be clear, this is exactly the sort of thing I, at least, had in mind. I know a little more about baseball and the Yankees than I did before I read this. It’s unfortunate how little sports writing accomplishes that. Great stuff.

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