By Anthony Tripicchio
Robinson Cano finally gets it and now he is assaulting opposing pitchers.
The immensely talented second baseman has been beset by immaturity and lackadaisical play at times in the past but if his torrid start is any indication, those days are over.
You would be hard pressed to find another second baseman in baseball capable of making the same play, especially without at least bouncing the throw. Sadly, the play will be overshadowed by Cano's exceptional night with the bat (3-4 with two homers, a double and three runs), but it was the highlight of the night.
As a vocal critic of Cano in the past, I assure you that this is not a puff piece. Cano has had limitations in years gone by, which I have been quick to indicate, that have hindered him from reaching his potential.
He's always been a free-swinger and that's never going to be completely reigned in. However, Cano is becoming more disciplined at the plate as evidenced by the fact that he's on pace to break his career-high walk total. He's drawn six free passes in 81 at bats which puts him on pace to draw close to 50 walks over the full season. His previous best is 39 in 2007.
With regard to his maturity level, Cano was frequently seen clowning around with his inseparable pal Melky Cabrera in recent years. Since Cabrera was shipped out of town, Cano is more about business. Meanwhile, Cabrera isn't exactly raking in Atlanta as the Braves have discovered the hard way that he is merely a fourth outfielder.