Andy Van Slyke Is Full Of Shit
Andy Van Slyke went on the radio machine in St. Louis today and, well, he had a lot to say.
Sporting News has all the details here as the former Cardinals and Pirates player trashed a handful of MLB players, including Yasiel Puig (sharing information on the radio that was “just between you and I”), Colby Rasmus and Robinson Cano of the Mariners (Van Slyke’s employer in 2015).
Let’s focus on Cano:
“Some of Jason Heyward’s success will depend on who’s in front of him and who’s behind him,” Van Slyke began. “I had some good years in Pittsburgh, part of that was because I had Barry Bonds hitting behind me, and also Barry Bonds hitting in front of me. So, it kind of depends on where you hit.
“It doesn’t always work out because in Seattle, we had (Nelson) Cruz, who’s probably the most dominant hitter I’ve ever personally seen for four months and Cano was hitting in front of him. You would think Cano would’ve had a terrific year, but he had probably the worst single year of an everyday player I’ve ever seen in 20 years at the big league level.”
He then added that Cano is a good guy but didn’t live up to expectations and “couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried.”
“He couldn’t get a hit when it mattered,” Van Slyke continued and later called Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus dumb. “He played the worst defense I’ve ever seen. He was the worst defensive player at second base I’ve ever seen.
“He couldn’t catch the ball … Robinson Cano cost the GM his job. The hitting coach got fired because of Cano and the manager and coaches got fired because of Cano. That’s how much of an impact he has on the organization. He was the worst player and it cost people their jobs in the process.”
In the second year of his 10-year deal, Cano had his worst season since 2008. But the “worst single year of an everyday player … in 20 years at the big league level”?
Cano put up a .287/.334/.446 slash line. Hit 21 home runs. Drove in 79 runs (since Van Slyke brought it up). With runners in scoring position, he hit .284/.331/.439 – with 54 RBI.
Our research department didn’t have time to look at every batter’s season in each of the last 20 years, but we do know it was not the “worst single year of an everyday player” at the big league level.
Van Slyke, for his part, did this in 1989: .237/.308/.370. Just saying.