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.”

Lineups for both teams and expanded game information is available via MLB GameDay.

8 Comments

Great point mickeyyogi. It’s PITCHING, PITCHING AND PITCHING. Not a big fan of Hughes. Less a fan of Nova. Don’t know what has happened to Nova the past year but he now pitches scared. Don’t forget about Warren or Wang for that matter. Logan is NOT the answer from the left side.

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Ugly pitching today by all concerned. 3 of first 4 games—–pitching giving up 5 plus runs. Who knows where the pitching will go tomorrow. Right now, it needs to be strong point during recovering injuries, but it is the weak point other than the old guys (imagine if they had both decided to retire). Hope still rides that CC and Kuroda will be good. Hughes will soon be back and Phelps looked good in spring training. Still, it is hard to be encouraged! Note: Cano is too good of a hitter to use a shift against. If every team does that to him he eventually will beat it. Tex and Granderson—–they’ll see those shifts forever.

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Steinbrenners take note: Yankees seriously need a new General Manager and field manager. Cashman and Girardi have been challenged and have failed to meet the challenge.

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Are any of our pitchers ready for the regular season? Besides Pettite and Mo no one looks like it. Nova not great in his first start. Lifted in the 5th and Logan comes in and gives up a 3 run homer to a lefty. That’s why Logan is in the lineup to pitch to lefties. And how many more of our guys are going to get hit with pitches and suffer injuries? Do you think opposing pitchers don’t hit guys on purpose? Always someone who is hot at the plate, who they want to take out of the game. And if Cano doesn’t get it going at the plate. He’s the one big bat we’re depending on. Why can’t he hit to the opposite field? And normally he hits the ball in the air not on the ground. Boston really did a number on him psychologically. Hope this doesn’t continue.

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NOVA is a 4 inning guy ….. rarely does well for an entire game, even in his wins… Logan is second rate. Yankee pitching is really, really bad!

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Cano looks totally confused by the shift. He needs to be smarter than that.

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Cano is unable to concentrate on baseball; he’s so enamored about getting into the Rap scene with JayZ and all those ‘hot’ groupies that baseball has lost its meaning to him. Oh, by the way, like the rest of the current crop of Yankee home run hitters he never has really been great against frontline pitching. …. sure he can beat up on the 2nd and 3rd rate throwers, but not the #1’s …. he proved this in the 2012 playoffs.

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With today’s technology, I would be surprised if more dramatic shift’s aren’t normal going forward. You can look at a players whole career and shift defensively to where he hits it most.

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