155 runs scored, 61 home runs, and 122 RBI is the Jupiteresque pace that Robinson Cano is on. He won’t finish with those numbers, but Cano is poised for a huge year nonetheless. Lefties are supposed to have their way in the new Yankee Stadium, but Cano has done most of his damage away from New York this season. His average in the stadium is just respectable at .294. He can do better. All of Cano’s home runs have been hit to right field, but only 3 of the 9 he has have been hit to right field.
The home run to fly ball rate will have to fall because Cano is more than doubling his previous best for a season, but right now he’s also hitting more fly balls than ever before which might not be as much of a fluke. More importantly, Cano has missed a maximum of three games from 2007-2009 and at 27 years old he should continue to be a durable play. At the start of the season, Cano was in the same class as Dustin Pedroia and Ben Zobrist. Even if you believe this hot start is flawed becaues of a higher than normal BABIP or other rate stats, he’s not in those players class anymore. I would also rather have Cano than any of his Yankee teammates because of the position he covers and the age/durability factor. In other words I would trade Alex Rodriguez for Cano. Straight up. Cano was better last year and he will continue to be better this year.
- Jonathan Papelbon took the loss on Sunday and now has a 9 to 9 strikeout to walk rate. Papelbon shouldn’t be referred to as an elite closer anymore. He was barely a top 100 overall player last year and doesn’t deserve to be thrown into the same class as Jonathan Broxton and Mariano Rivera.
- Rapid fire closing news: Kerry Wood is rehabbing today. Francisco Morales was brought in for the 8th inning and Manny Corpas was brought in for the 9th in a 4 run game. Neftali Feliz got the save and Frank Francisco did not make an appearance. Alfredo Simon appears to be the Orioles closer, but Will Ohman hasn’t allowed a run this season. Mike Gonzalez started a throwing program over the weekend. J.C. Romero is a saves candidate, but not the “closer.”
- Francisco Liriano threw 124 pitches yesterday after firing 112 the game before. He is now on pace to pitch 96 more innings than his previous career high which was set last season. In Ron Gardenhire’s defense, he was brilliant again.
- Tony La Russa understands what to do with a pitcher who has had a history of arm problems. Chris Carpenter was removed after 7 innings and 100 pitches yesterday. Carpenter led the league with a 1.01 WHIP last year and now has a 1.05 WHIP in 2010.
- Jered Weaver was throwing in the mid 90s yesterday which is more than that we’re used to seeing from him.
- Calling spot starting deep leagues, Cesar Valdez could get two starts this week including one against the Astros. In case you’ve been taking a long nap, the Astros offense is historically bad. Valdez is missing bats in the minors so far this year, but what he does in the show is obviously a different story.
- Vin Mazzaro is probably going to start Tuesday for Oakland because Justin Duchscherer is probably not going to be ready. That’s why they call them probable starters.
- Stephen Strasburg had a bad day, but it might not stop him from getting called up to AAA. Strasburg claims he went too far out of the strike zone and should have pitched to contact more.
- On June 14 of last year Johan Santana gave up 9 runs to the Yankees and on June 9th he gave up 4 home runs to the Phillies. He would have taken either of those games last night over the 10 earned and 4 home runs he gave up last night.
- Jimmy Rollins is still a ways away from joining the Phillies and claims the pulled muscle feels “like someone shot him.”
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