Have Robinson Cano's Bad Habits Returned?

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Have Robinson Cano's Bad Habits Returned?
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Through the first 23 games Yankee second baseman, Robinson Cano, was on fire.  After the Yankees 10-9 win over the Angels on May 1, Robbie was hitting .378 and had an incredible number of multiple hit games.

He also had five home runs and 17 RBI to that point.

In the five games since he has one hit in 21 at-bats and no RBI.

Of more concern is what seems to be a change in demeanor and concentration.

Watching Cano hit last night against Tampa Bay, he did not appear into the game.

In the seventh inning, Cano came to the plate and was laughing and joking with Rays catcher, Dioner Navarro. He then swung wildly at the first pitch, took a perfect strike and then grounded out weakly.

In the ninth inning, Cano came to the plate with one out and the Yankees needing desperately to get something going to erase a two-run deficit created when closer, Mariano Rivera gave up back-to-back home runs.

Cano approached the plate and the pitcher threw a perfect strike. But Cano had casually turned in the box and faked a bunt as the ball crossed the plate and he was behind in the count.

His action at that point was without any explanation except that he appeared to have his mind somewhere else and was not taking the game seriously.

The cameras also caught Cano in the dugout at a time when the Yankees were behind and appeared to be in real danger of losing their fifth straight game.

But Cano was laughing and having a big time and did not seem to be bothered by the problems his team is having.

Cano has also been noted to have opened his stance more than when he was having so much success in the first weeks of the season.

Hitting coach, Kevin Long, had noticed last year that Cano's very open stance was causing him to stride into the plate and block his hips. This prevented him from turning on inside pitches and took away much of his power.

Cano may not be as open as he was for much of last year, but one has to question why he would want to tinker when he was so great for 23 games.

For the first three weeks, Cano seemed intense, focused, sure of himself and what he wanted to do.

Now it appears as though he may have faded into his complacent, lackadaisacal self who was a puzzle to many around the Yankee team last year.

Cano is a young player with incredible talent. In the field he has extraordinary range, very good hands and an incredibly strong arm. He makes difficult plays seem very easy.

At the plate he has a combination of very strong and very soft hands that allow him to adjust to pitches and to spray line drives all over the field.

He has been compared to Rod Carew. That may be an exaggeration. But no-one can seriously doubt his talent.

But the key word here is seriously. Cano must take the game seriously. He must understand, as he seemed to for three weeks, that he cannot take one pitch off.

When he is in the box he has to be focused, he has to be intent and concentrating on what his team needs of him at that very moment.

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