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After carrying the offense for the first five months of the year, Robinson Cano — along with any last shreds of hope he may have had at winning the MVP — has really hit the skids in September. Cano’s still in the top 10 in the AL in fWAR, but he’ll have to completely turn it around during these last few weeks of the season if he’s going to have any shot at MVP consideration. While certainly far from the entire story, part of the Yankees’ current 1-6 slide and 5-6 record in September can be attributed to the vanishing act Cano’s bat has pulled.
So what’s going on with Cano? Here’s a look at the numbers:
Obviously the usual small sample size caveats apply, but those are some pretty ugly rate stats for Cano thus far in September. He’s been the worst everyday performer in the Yankee lineup by far; the only players with worse wOBAs in September are Greg Golson and Colin Curtis.
He’s obviously barely walking and striking out a bit more frequently, though it seems like everyone on the Yankees has been K-ing much more often of late. Oddly enough, his line drive percentage is actually up from his season mark while his ground ball rate is down — given his .243 BABIP, it appears Cano may be suffering from a bit of bad luck, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s been an ugly 44 plate appearances for Robbie.
Of course, Cano is far from the only culprit on offense. Here’s a smattering of Yankee wOBAs for the month of September:
Francisco Cervelli: .524
Lance Berkman: .487
Alex Rodriguez: .463
Curtis Granderson: .399
Brett Gardner: .333
Marcus Thames: .310
Mark Teixeira: .308
Jorge Posada: .298
Austin Kearns: .279
Derek Jeter: .248
Nick Swisher: .230
On the strength of reaching base eight straight times in the first two games at Texas, Cervelli is somehow leading the team in wOBA for the month, but that obviously won’t last. Berkman and A-Rod have clearly come to play since returning from the disabled list. And Grandy’s played well in the last 11 games. Aside from those four, the rest of the lineup has been decidedly below-average, which isn’t a surprise given how the team’s played of late.
I know that guys like Cano, Tex and Swish — assuming he can get healthy — can turn it around. Truthfully, they really have no choice, considering that their bats have carried the team for much of the season and if the Yankees are to go anywhere in the postseason they’ll need to continue to rely on that trio producing big hits, especially given how silent they were in the 2009 playoffs.