Robinson Cano is again in the All-Star game, this time represented the Seattle Mariners. Cano was elected by the fans, and while the fans can sometimes put players in the starting lineup based on past history, Cano is deserving of his spot in 2014.
Cano is getting paid a lot of money by the Mariners, but so far he is living up to the expectations of his contract. His slash line is .334/.393/.462 and he has seven home runs and 57 RBI. Cano is third in the American League in batting average and third in on-base percentage. His home runs have not been particularly high, but he is certainly swinging a productive bat.
Whether Cano has infused confidence into the lineup or whether others have just figured out how to hit better is hard to measure. What is clear is that the Mariners are hitting better at a team, so it is reasonable to assume that Cano’s presence has had a positive effect.
For Seattle fans, it is good to see four All-Stars (Cano, Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager and Fernando Rodney) that are deserving of their selections rather than the team just getting the standard, token appointment. When the starting lineup for the American League takes the field, there will be two Mariners among the nine.
The real test is yet to come, as Cano must continue to inspire this team in the second half as the franchise seeks a playoff spot. If Cano can help get the M’s into the postseason and then hit well once they get there, he will truly prove his worth.
Eventually, this contract may be a financial albatross that inhibits the Mariners from signing other free agents. However, that is not something that the team is going to worry about right now. This year, Cano is an All-Star and he is leading this team to wins.
Money well spent…at least in 2014.