Mariners still waiting for first Cano blast

Cano RobbieNew second baseman Robinson Cano has yet to hit a home run for the Mariners in 18 Cactus League games and the first eight regular-season outings. But that isn’t a concern to manager Lloyd McClendon or to Cano, who has said from the start that he’s not a home-run hitter, he’s a line-drive hitter.

Cano has averaged 28.4 homers a year over the past five seasons, which is excellent power for a second baseman. But indeed, even with the Yankees he hit just one home run in Spring Training last year and only had one spring with more than two homers in the Grapefruit League (he hit four in ’09).

As for the regular season, Cano hit his first bomb in his seventh game last year en route to a 27-homer season. He didn’t hit his first blast until his 12th game in 2012, then went on to a career-high 33.

“I’m not the least bit concerned about Robbie’s first home run,” McClendon said. “Check the book. They’ll be there. When it’s all said and done, his numbers will be right where they’re supposed to be. That’s a question we probably need to address so I don’t have to have this question anymore. Robinson Cano is one of the top arguably five hitters in all of baseball. He has been for the last nine years and that’s not going to change just because he put on a Seattle Mariners uniform.

“What I’d like to see Robbie do is lead the league in doubles,” said McClendon. “I don’t worry about home runs. His home runs will be there. I know we’re all waiting on it and I’m sure he is, too, but that’s not a concern.”

Cano is hitting .300 with two doubles and six walks in his first eight games with a team-leading .417 on-base percentage. For his career, Cano carries a .309 batting average and .355 on-base percentage.

He had the highest batting average and most hits, doubles and RBIs for any second baseman in the Majors since his debut in 2005. He’s second to Dan Uggla in home runs by a second baseman in that span (231 to 204).

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