The postseason is where players become immortalized. It’s where seasons start over for those who have struggled all year long. It’s where players can endear themselves to fans in an instant. So, in this week’s roundtable discussion, we asked our writers which Yankee would have the best ALDS. Here are their answers:
I believe there’s only one option at this point and it’s Robinson Cano. Going 4-4 on the final day of the regular season pushed Cano’s multi-hit streak to nine games. The second longest streak in franchise history. In that time, Cano is batting .615 with three home runs. Cano hasn’t been this locked in all year. That’s scary for opposing playoff teams because Cano had himself another fine season. Overall, he hit .313 with 33 home runs, and 94 RBI. Also consider the possibility of Cano hitting in Camden Yards where he has a career OPS of .991.
The Yankee to have the best performance in the ALDS will be Robinson Cano. The guy hotter than the surface of the sun over the last couple weeks of the season, and I have to think he’s going to continue that dominance. Not only is he raking like a bastard, but he’s nice in the field; he’s easily the best second baseman in the AL and is arguably the best in the game.
The guy absolutely annihilates at Camden Yards. He’s got a career .364/409/582 slash line with 11 homers in 66 games in Baltimore. No question he puts on a show.
Honorable Mention: I think Hiroki tosses a great game. I have trouble giving the Best Performance award to a pitcher who (possibly) only starts one game in a short series. But I do think HIROK throws a gem.
The softball answer to this question is Cano, but I feel like Ichiro Suzuki will have an overall better series. He has been extremely hot of late at the plate, which carried the Yankees while Cano stumbled a bit the last two weeks (although he’s probably the hottest hitter on the planet right now). However, if Ichiro gets on base, he can make things happen with his legs. A lot of the recent success the Yankees have had has to do with a little small-ball- stealing bases and singles. If he, at the bottom of the lineup, and Jeter at the top, can each get on base, it makes for a world of hurt for opposing pitchers to deal with with Cano, Grandy, etc. following. While I love that Cano can hit a pitch to the moon, I’m not sure he’ll see as many mistake pitches to hit home runs, which is why Ichiro will have the better series, because he can hit and make moves on the basepaths.
This is a tough one. There are players who I WANT to be the answer to this question, such as Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. The easy answer would be Robinson Cano considering what he did over the final nine regular season games, but there has been a three-game lapse since so who knows how it will affect him. My guess is Ichiro Suzuki. From the time he was traded to the Yankees, I noted that his abilities created the chance for a different dimension to the team with Brett Gardner injured. He’s performed consistently well since coming over from Seattle and he’ll be playing with the feeling that this could be his last real chance at a ring with his fate up in the air following this season. While the Yankees will need to produce with their power game, Suzuki’s ability to stretch hits and generate runs off walks and singles will go a long way in the postseason, beginning with the match-up against the Orioles.
I think both Cano and Ichiro will have a great series, but I think it’s the bullpen that’ll ultimately decide the ALDS. Therefore, I think David Robertson will be a monster. It’s tough predicting a pitcher will have the best series because it depends on the offense to give them a lead to protecting. However, I think Robertson will be in many uncomfortable situations where they will need him to step up and shut down the Orioles hitters. He’ll have to continue holding Orioles’ hitters to a .238/.273/.524 slash line, but also bring that slugging percentage down (five hits allowed, two of which were home runs). He gave up three runs in five games (22 plate appearances) to the O’s this season.