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Robinson Cano has established himself as one of the premier all-around players in the majors – many consider him the best second baseman in all of baseball. Ever since he came up in 2005, Cano has improved year by year. His power numbers and run production have come a long way since his ’05 season, when he hit 14 homers and drove in 62 RBIs with a .297 batting average. He has finished a season in the top 10 in doubles in five of a total seven full seasons – he’s currently fifth with 25 in 2012.
As fans have gotten used to seeing Robbie glide around the baseball diamond and spray balls all over the outfield, they’ve also gotten used to seeing him absolutely crush pitching at Fenway Park. Games with the Red Sox are always ratcheted up to a different level, so performing well under the intense atmosphere is very impressive. Since the Yankees play the Red Sox about 18 times a year, Cano gets a chance to hit in the friendly confines of Fenway nine times per season. I think it is safe to call Robinson Cano a “Red Sox killer.”
In 66 career games at Fenway Park, Cano has accumulated a .348 average, while hitting 11 homers and driving in 52. That RBI total is his highest in a ballpark not named Yankee Stadium, where of course, he plays up to 81 games a year. He also has hit 28 doubles, the highest total outside the Stadium. Since Cano can hit the ball anywhere, like most lefties at Fenway, he uses the Green Monster to his advantage. Cano also sports an OBP of .384, and a slugging pct. at .576.
So far this series, Cano is just 3-for-12. Tonight, he will face a tough lefty in John Lester, if Joe Girardi doesn’t give him the night off. Remember, Cano will compete in the Home Run Derby tomorrow night in Kansas City. Against lefties this year, Cano is hitting .230 in 122 at-bats with four homers and 14 RBIs. He’s hitting a gaudy .364 against righties in ’12. Cano has had 45 at-bats against Lester in his career. He has a .267 average with no homers and only four RBIs. The Yankees no doubt want to finish the “first half” of the season on a good note with a victory. If Cano is in the lineup tonight, New York will hope his good history at Fenway will override facing a tough left-hander.