Mariners News: Robinson Cano Reserves Spot At The All-Star Game
The votes are in, and the Mariners will be represented by Robinson Cano– as a reserve- and only Cano, in next week’s 87th edition of the MLB All-Star Game.
We could tell by the end of April that the race for the starting 2B-man for the American League would come down to two men: The Houston Astros, Jose Altuve and Cano. Statically the race was fairly even through the first month of play. While Cano lead in categories like HR’s -where he not only lead the AL but lead the MLB- and RBI, Altuve had the upper-hand when it came to SB, Avg. and XHB. In May, the race would plateau, as both competitors would have equally commendable months.
Again, Cano would lead the AL in HR and RBI, but would this time also hold the outright lead or share the lead in XBH and TB, and tie for the 2nd best Avg. in the AL with .345 with Altuve (both only behind Los Angeles Angels, Johnny Giavotella who batted .348.) What probably gave Cano a slight edge at the time was the fact that the Mariners had exceed league expectations and were holding the 3rd best record in the AL, just a 1.5 behind the AL-leading Boston Redox-which can partly be explained by the play of the aforementioned Bogaerts. Meanwhile, Altuve and Astros were struggling in 4th place of the AL west, despite his own impressive numbers. But what had kept Cano on par with Altuve- his HR and RBI- dropped off considerable in the early summer months.
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In April and May Cano had tallied 8 and 7 home runs respectively, but in June he could only muster 4. That was his lowest monthly HR total since August of 2015, and he wasn’t even at full strength back then, like he assuredly is now. Even more staggering however, was his RBI totals. Prior to June, Cano had amassed 20+ RBI in both months in 2016, yet in June he couldn’t even manage 10 (he finished with 9). And while Altuve has never been known as a power-hitter- although he is already only 1 HR shy of tying his career high in HR for an entire season at 15 big flys- Altuve did not hold back with other statistics such as Avg., batting an obscene .420 or SB and BB, where he lead all 2B in both areas for the month.
It was last month’s average-ness that pushed Cano behind Altuve for the starting spot at 2B. Thankfully Cano still did make a reserve spot, as others at the position like Detroit’s, Ian Kinsler and Baltimore’s, Jonathon Schoop also surged to the top of the 2B class as voting wound down.
Next: Astros Blast Past M’s in Houston
With Felix Hernandez not appearing in what would’ve been his 6th straight All-Star game due to a sub-par year (and injuries), and Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz producing just not enough support in the voting, M’s fans will have to get behind Cano as the lone Mariner at the mid-summer classic in San Diego, July 12th.