The 2014 Seattle Mariners are much improved from the 2013 version. The presence of Robinson Cano in the lineup strikes fear into opposing pitchers.
Robinson Cano has joined the Mariners on a 10 year/240 million dollar deal. He is here to be the franchise player. That means that he is here to get this team to postseason and beyond. The Mariners haven’t had a hitter like this in a while. Robinson Cano can change the culture of the organization just by being here.
I haven’t been this excited for the season in a while. I love that the Mariners now have a player that will actually make people want to watch Mariners game. Every single at-bat is dangerous with him and pitchers can’t sleep on him.
Whoever bats behind Cano, Justin Smoak for now, needs to come through on more consistent basis. Smoak is having a good year so far but he didn’t convert on an opportunity against the Angels. Smoak needs to realize too that there is an added pressure on him since he is going to be given many opportunities this season batting behind Cano.
Cano is used to batting a Yankees lineup which features many all-stars. He might not even have been the most feared hitter in the lineup. He has to adjust to being “the man” now. He is the all-star. He is the player that will be pitched around. He now has to learn not to swing at pitches that he would normally swing at. He has to be more patient now and he might have to settle for more walks than he would like.
In the 2nd home game against the Angels, he had an opportunity with runners on 1st and 2nd. He was thrown nothing that could be driven and the at-bat ended with a grounder that advanced the runners. That wasn’t that bad but he has to aware that he is going to given that pitch a lot. You don’t want Cano to beat you so you will pitch around him.
Seattle is also nothing like New York. The flashing lights and media frenzy won’t be following Robinson around with the Mariners. He can relax and not worry about being scrutinized for failing to come through in a clutch situation. Fans won’t get on him as quick as they did in New York. As a fan, I know Cano is the best hitter the Mariners have, I wouldn’t want to boo him. Sure, he didn’t convert in the previous game against the Angels but he will convert more times than not.
There is certainly a difference in batting with a lineup of veteran hitters and batting with a lineup filled with young, inexperienced hitters. Cano used to be the one that learned from the older players with the Yankees but now he has to share his knowledge with the younger players. He’s the veteran now. He’ll be a familiar face with the club for 10 years so buckle up M’s fans.
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