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Robinson Cano slump: Yankees need him to get hot again

With the offense continuing to flounder, the Yankees need Robinson Cano to break out of his slump right now if they have desires of reaching the postseason.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

With the returns of Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez, the thought was that the offense would get back on track. The team would have five solid/really good bats at the top of their lineup and the offense could start to score some runs and the team would get back to their winning ways. Unfortunately, albeit in just a small handful of games, this has not happened. Over this small stretch, and since the All-Star Break, really, a major culprit has been Robinson Cano. Cano has really struggled these last few weeks and they need him to get hot as soon as possible if the Yankees want to capture a playoff spot.

Robinson Cano went into the All-Star Break on a roll, hitting .433/.521/.733 in his final 17 games and even finished with a nine-game hitting streak. Since the Mid-Summer Classic, however, he has done essentially the opposite, hitting .203/.273/.237 in his first 17 games back. Of course the narrative for his struggles will be "The Home Run Derby Curse," or something, but I doubt that's really the case. Cano participated in each of last year's Home Run Derby and 2011's and hit .312/.384/.519 and .309/.358/.547 in those respective second halves. Besides, he only hit, what, four home runs in this year's derby and was eliminated after the first round? Hard to believe that the Home Run Derby has worn him down and caused him to struggle at the plate.

Anyway, no matter what Cano's struggles can be attributed to, they need to be resolved in a hurry. Like, starting in tonight's game against Hector Santiago and the White Sox. He's 0-for-2 with a walk in his career against Santiago, but who cares, three plate appearances are nothing. Santiago is, however, the third straight left-handed starter the Yankees have faced and after tonight's game the Yankees will see six straight righties in their upcoming series against the Tigers and Angels. As we all know, Cano does better against righties (145 wRC+) than he does against lefties (104 wRC+), so we could see him catch fire here pretty soon. At the same time, no matter what hand the pitcher throws, the Yankees need their best hitter to step up and get hot before the team falls further out of contention.