LADY AT THE BAT: Melky Gone=Big Year For Cano?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Melky Gone=Big Year For Cano?

A day after his buddy Melky Cabrera showed his World Series ring off to his new Braves teammates, Robinson Cano paid tribute to the pioneer he was named for by belting two homers, helping the Yankees to a 6-2 win over the Angels. This was one night Cano will never forget.

Would he have had such a big night if Melky Cabrera were still on the team? I was listening to Richard Neer on WFAN Radio last night. Neer suggested that the reason Cano is off to such a hot start might be because his best friend Cabrera is no longer with the team. He admitted that it is probably too early to come to such a conclusion but felt that it was worth mentioning anyway.

I'm not so sure Cabrera's absence is the reason for Cano's success. He has done a lot of work with hitting coach Kevin Long and has learned to be more selective at the plate, leading to better at-bats. There might be some correlation between Melky leaving and Cano tearing it up, but I think it's mainly a combination of Kevin Long and a lot of hard work.

If Cano continues to do well this season, however, look for the Melky Gone theory to grow legs. Melky Cabrera will look like a bad guy, which may or may not be fair to him.

My best wishes to both of them for continued success this season

[Photo: Silverman/NYT]

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