The streak of dominance for the New York Yankees may have hit a standstill until further notice. Aside from the pitching problems, the offense has found one of their own, Robinson Cano. In his last 26 at bats, Cano has five hits, which translates into a .192 average. So, how exactly does one player affect a team? Perhaps quite a bit in this case as the Yankees’ offense has been highly reliant on Cano’s bat. With a huge part of the order in Cano slumping, the only two players the Yankees have been able to consistently rely on lately are Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher. Cano’s power in the line-up is sorely missed. His slump may be not be long term, but with the Tampa Bay Rays on our tail, this slump came at the worst possible time.
I’ve never liked thinking that one player can affect a team, but in this case, it has. In their last 10 games, the Bombers have dropped five of them. Now, I’m not saying it’s all because of Cano’s slump, but in those ten games, he only had five hits in 32 at-bats. He’s been swinging at a lot of first pitches and swinging a lot of pitches way out of the zone. His patience at the plate has been pretty awful too as he’s been striking out more consistently.
Being this late in August, the last thing the Yankees need is a collapse, especially from their star player. Regardless of whether or not this is a mental thing with Cano, the rest of the team will have to pick up the pieces in the time being. It’s an unusual trend for Cano and some people even wonder if this dates back all the way to the All-Star game when he played on virtually no sleep. Now, that’s just speculation I’ve heard as there’s nothing backing it up, but it makes you wonder if Cano is just tired. 162 games a season doesn’t sound like a whole lot in a fan’s perspective (believe me, I feel like the season just started), but in a second baseman’s mind, it can be an eternity.
Regarding this entire slump, Cano had this to say:
“You’re going to have ups and downs, so whenever one of those [bad streaks is] coming, you try to get it out right away.” – via the Wall Street Journal
Cano isn’t the type of hitter that usually has a hit-less streak, so it’s a foreign concept for us to see this happen. He’s always been a huge and explosive part of this offense, but even his numbers currently aren’t near where they were in previous years. Cano only has 68 RBIs on the season yet a year ago he finished with 50 more. He also had scored 28 more runs last year and he only has 76 on the year. His home run total is almost the same but his hit count is down. This isn’t to say that 2012 is an awful year for Cano, but looking beyond this slump, overall this season has been a little under the radar for him. Hopefully he’ll break out of this soon. We definitely need him to, especially with September being a week away.