Saturday notes: Cano’s moonshot
The only question about Robinson Cano’s second-inning blast off the Astros’ Bud Norris was how far it was going to go. Cano’s first homer of the spring was a tape-measure drive that appeared headed for Dale Mabry Highway, clearing the right-field picnic pavilion. Cano said he lost track of the ball in the air, but knew he’d squared it up well.
“I hit that one pretty good,” Cano said. “I don’t think I could hit anyone harder than that. I lost it [off the bat]. … I might see it when I go out there.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has noticed a trend of loud baseballs coming off Cano’s bat, which he loves.
“The last couple of days it seems like he is starting to get locked in a little bit, which is important,” Girardi said. “I think the more repetitions they’re getting is probably helping some of our guys.”
What went right: Hiroki Kuroda (4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) was “really good,” Girardi said, and he threw strikes. Kuroda got 49 of 59 pitches over for strikes, and Girardi complimented his sinker and split in particular. … Mariano Rivera breezed through an eight-pitch inning, getting a double play to escape after hitting the leadoff man. … Eduardo Nunez went 1-for-2 in his first game action since March 5, coming back from a bruised right hand. … Curtis Granderson had an RBI double. Andruw Jones had an RBI single. … Cory Wade threw two scoreless innings. … Dellin Betances sprinted to first base for the final out, laughing, “That was harder than it looked.”
What went wrong: Raul Ibanez’s silent spring continues. He was hitless in two at-bats and is 2-for-28. Girardi said he’s not concerned. … Boone Logan struggled in the eighth, allowing two runs and three hits.
What they said: “If there were six boxes you’d want to check in a baseball player, he checks all six of them at A-plus, from his Navy SEAL work ethic to his high character, to his game pitchability to what he means to CC and four nights out of the week being in his right ear for nine innings. The demands of excellence are one like I’ve never seen before, probably [except for] Mariano Rivera.” – Alex Rodriguez on Andy Pettitte.
What’s next: The Yankees will pay a visit to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla., on Sunday night for a 7:05 ET game against the Orioles that can be seen on MLB.TV and MLB Network. Ivan Nova, who worked four shutout innings against the Red Sox on Tuesday, is slated to make his fourth start of the spring.