Robinson Cano seeing some shift action
Greetings from Detroit! After last night’s vintage turn back the clock experience with Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera leading the Yankees to their first victory, the Bombers are here in the Motor City on a quick turnaround to try and spoil the Tigers’ home opener.
One interesting note from the last few days has been the defensive overshift on Robinson Cano, who has been limited to one hit in his first 12 at-bats of the young season. The Red Sox saw some success with it, and you’d imagine other teams may also give it a try as the year goes on, daring Cano to hit ground balls to the left side.
As Boston manager John Farrell explained back in New York, “He can hit to the opposite field a lot of times, but that’s typically in the air. When you see the spray charts, it’s pretty evident where a high number or high percentage of the balls on the ground will travel. We look to defend those areas.”
Joe Girardi said this morning that he hasn’t seen teams shift against Cano much, but teams are already doing it with Travis Hafner and (when he returns) Mark Teixeira. It’s not clear if Cano is really going to be in that group — the Tigers didn’t use the dramatic overshift during his first at-bat on Friday — or if he can make the adjustment to stop teams from trying it.
“Robbie’s a guy that has the ability to hit the ball the other way, so I’m curious to see how it’s going to play out,” Girardi said. “Robbie hits the ball the other way. A lot of times for a lot of guys, when they hit the ball on the ground it’s more to the pull side. That’s just the way it is for a lot of guys. We’ll see how it works out.”