Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
This may seem like an odd question, but can fans dare to get excited about this guy?
Fans that have followed this team over the last few years understand why this question must be asked. On paper, Cano could have an instant impact on a lineup that hit a paltry .237 (28th) in 2012, with a .306 on-base percentage (26th).
The team is counting on Cano’s .314 average and .383 OBP to provide a boost.
Obviously Cano is not supposed to be a one-man offense. The theory is that Cano, Corey Hart and perhaps Logan Morrison will have a positive impact on everyone else and the Mariners will start to hit better as a team.
At least, that is the way that this is supposed to work. Dare to dream?
Now, the baseball media is projecting that Cano may struggle in spacious Safeco Field. The assumption is that Cano will somehow lose his ability to hit. Hopefully that will not be the case, particularly since Cano has been remarkably consistent over the last five years (.314/.313/.302/.319/.320).
Truthfully, the Mariners need Cano to hit singles, not home runs. The Mariners were second in team home runs in 2012. Where did that get them? Seattle needs consistent base runners, not the occasional home run.
The fear, of course, is that this will be another Adrian Beltre situation. Seattle signed Beltre after his monster year in 2004 when the former member of the Los Angeles Dodgers hit .334 with 48 home runs and 121 RBI. Beltre’s first year with the M’s? He hit .255 with 19 home runs and 87 RBI.
There did seem to be a “Seattle” effect on Beltre because he started hitting a lot better once he left. Hopefully that won’t happen to Cano.
Excited about Seattle’s new hitting star? Don’t be afraid. This might actually work out.