In an astute observation, Robinson Cano is now realizing that the Seattle Mariners aren't an offensive juggarnaut.
The second baseman, who signed with the Mariners in the offseason, has grown a bit wary about the team's lack of depth on one side of the plate heading into the season, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
I'm not going to lie. We need an extra bat, especially a right-handed bat. We have many left-handed hitters. We need at least one more righty. You don't want to face a lefty pitcher with a lineup of seven left-handed hitters.
No, Cano. No you don't. Especially with some of the top talent in the American League West like C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland and Scott Kazmir all being left-handed starters.
And even with all the offseason moves that the Mariners made, they still have the same issue during the spring season. But don't fear, Seattle fans, because Heyman reports that Cano has a solution to the problem:
Cano -- whose $240 million, 10-year deal with Seattle is tied for the third richest in MLB history -- offers a solution, and it's the obvious one; bring back [Kendrys] Morales, who remains a free agent working out for weeks at the Scott Boras Training Institute in Miami Gardens, Fla.
"He's a switch hitter who's got power," Cano noted.
As for the protection behind him during spring training, the Mariners have tried to go with a right-handed hitter, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports:
Robinson Cano’s protection in the Mariners lineup? Today, it’s Corey Hart as the DH.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 2, 2014
J.P. Arencibia talked to Morosi about how he will have his pitchers approach Cano in the Mariners' lineup, which helps support the star's assertion that Seattle needs help in the lineup:
No doubt,” asserted J.P. Arencibia, the Texas Rangers catcher who played against Fielder in each of the last two years. “As a catcher calling a game, there’s a lot of times where you say, ‘Don’t let this guy beat you.’ That’s the way it works. You’re facing a team where there’s no protection . . . Robinson Cano [of the Mariners] is a guy that, hey, we’re going to pitch around him, bottom line.”
Can the M's compete with more right-handed bats?
Adding Hart to the lineup during the offseason was a huge step in the right direction. But Cano does have a valid point: If Seattle is going to compete in the AL West with teams like the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics, it needs variety in the lineup.
Seattle does have some pop on the left side of the batter's box with Kyle Seager and Cano to go along with Justin Smoak, a switch-hitter, and Mike Zunino, but the M's do still have a need to help Cano thrive in the lineup.
By bringing back Kendrys Morales and potentially adding another right-handed bat to mix things up against lefties, the Mariners would be in good position to contend with any pitcher in the division.
It will be interesting to see how the Mariners respond to Cano's request, as he is the clear face of the franchise at this point. But the obvious move here is to add variety to a possibly stout lineup.
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