Shortly before losing to the Mariners on an extra-inning walk-off homer by Luis Rodriguez last night the Yankees nearly lost Robinson Cano when he was hit on the foot by a 95-mph pitch.
Cano remained in the game and hobbled to first base, and afterward underwent X-rays that came back negative.
Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York writes that Cano “hobbled around the Yankees’ clubhouse, looking like Willis Reed in 1970,” but the second baseman seemed confident that he’d be in the lineup Friday.
Today’s off day comes at a good time for Cano, who’s missed just one game all season while hitting .305 with 26 homers and an .880 OPS. Dating back to 2007 he’s played 787 of a possible 796 games, which is the third-most in baseball behind only Prince Fielder (790) and Adrian Gonzalez (788).
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.