Robinson Cano Returns to Mariners’ Lineup Saturday


Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times is reporting that Robinson Cano will be in the Seattle Mariners starting lineup on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Scottsdale to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. Cano has been in his home country of the Dominican Republic since Sunday mourning the passing of his grandfather. Divish writes that Robby was in Peoria on Friday, and took part in a full workout with the M’s.

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Robinson Cano had a fabulous debut season in Seattle. He led the club by posting a .314 batting average, and added 14 home runs, 82 RBI’s, and a career high 10 steals across 595 at bats. Cano registered a .382 on base percentage, and slugged .454. The 32-year-old represented the M’s at the mid summer classic, and finished fifth in American League MVP voting. While his power numbers were considerably lower than his last few years with the New York Yankees, Cano changed the culture in the Mariners’ clubhouse.

Signing Robinson Cano proved to be the catalyst for transforming the Mariners into a championship contender. The signing was met with skepticism, but over the course of 12 short months, Cano has made believers out of even the most ardent of detractors. Prior to his arrival, the M’s were essentially a team of underperforming bonus babies, who couldn’t figure out how to play as a cohesive unit. Cano brought the Yankee way to Seattle, he took a team who had only ever lost, and made them into winners. Robby brings a swagger to the Mariners that has not been seen since the late 90’s when Ken Griffey Jr. patrolled center field.

Seattle has once again become a popular free agent destination for the best players in baseball. Without the Cano signing in 2013, I believe there is no Nelson Cruz signing in 2014. Cruz led all of baseball last season with 40 home runs. It may be unrealistic to anticipate a repeat performance this year, but Cruz should solidify the M’s lineup. Cano stands to benefit the most from Cruz’s presence, as he should see an increase in pitches to hit with such a formidable power threat batting behind him in the order. Kyle Seager had a career year last season, and was a key cog in the M’s offense. He is not an ideal cleanup hitter, but he should flourish out of the five hole in 2015. The Mariners are projected by most expects to have one of the best offensive attacks in baseball this season, and Cano, Cruz, and Seager are the big reasons why.

“I didn’t just want to sit around at home and start crying with the whole family,” said Cano. “I wanted to keep my mind busy.”

Robinson Cano will be in a Mariners’ uniform for the first time since returning from his grandfather’s funeral, but it will not be the first time he has been on the diamond since leaving the team. Cano told Divish that he got in some work while he was at home in the Dominican Republic. The superstar second baseman reportedly took some batting practice and did some fielding drills while he was in the Dominican Republic.

Cano was hitting .400 in Cactus League action prior to leaving the team, and hopfully he picks up right where he left off Saturday afternoon in Scottsdale. First pitch between the M’s and D-backs is scheduled for 1:05 pm PST from Salt River Field at Talking Stick. You can listen to Robby’s return live on 710 ESPN.

Next: J.A. Happ Shines, Seattle Mariners Crush Brewers 10-5

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