Mariners star Robinson Cano on his slow start: “I want to do better”

May 15, 2015, 5:32 PM | Updated: 10:55 pm
Just like in 2014, Robinson Cano heads into late May with just one home run on the season. (AP)...
Just like in 2014, Robinson Cano heads into late May with just one home run on the season. (AP)

When it comes to Mariners players dealing with slow starts this season, none is more surprising than Robinson Cano.

Already 35 games into the 2015 campaign, Cano is batting just .268 with one home run, 11 RBIs and a .680 OPS. As the Mariners’ everyday No. 3 hitter in the second year of a 10-year, $240 million contract, numbers like that are bound to raise a few eyebrows.

It’s one thing for the fanbase to be worried about his production, but it’s another thing for the perennial All-Star himself to be. So, is he?

“I’m concerned, but at the same time I’m trying not to worry about it too much because it’s gonna take me out of my game,” Cano told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Danny, Dave and Moore” on Friday. “I want to do better than what I’m doing right now. I want to go out there and help the team win every single game. Am I concerned? I want to say yes. As a player you always want to perform.”

Cano had his share of struggles in the early part of last season, as well, but he raised his average over .300 by May 12, 2014 and never dipped back below the mark. Sitting 32 points below .300 at roughly the same point in the season now, though, is certainly more drastic.

There isn’t much worry yet that Cano will start piling up hits soon, but his power is another story. He had just one home run going into late May last year as well, and he finished 2014 with 14 homers, his lowest total since 2008.

“I wish I could go every day and hit at least one (homer),” he said. “I will stay positive … I’m the kind of the guy that I always work hard, I always try to do my best.”

For someone who has seen as much success in the game as Cano, he’s still very much human – something he made apparent while talking about some of the criticisms that have been levied his way in his career.

“Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that I’m a superstar,” he said. “A lot of people criticized when I first came on, say that I look lazy, that I don’t work hard.”

It’s clear those assertions have bothered him, but like with his slow start, he’s never spent much time worrying about them. Instead he’s concentrated on working hard and making the most of a chance to live a life not many from his home country of the Dominican Republic get.

“I feel blessed and happy to be here … to be able now that I play at this level. That’s really myself,” he said.

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